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Urothelial carcinoma stem cells: Current concepts, controversies, and methods

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Anastasia Hepburn, Professor Rakesh Heer


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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018. Cancer stem cells are defined as a self-renewing and self-protecting subpopulation of cancer cells able to differentiate into morphologically and functionally diverse cancer cells with a limited lifespan. To purify cancer stem cells, two basic approaches can be applied, the marker-based approach employing various more of less-specific cell surface marker molecules and a marker-free approach largely based on various self-protection mechanisms. Within the context of urothelial carcinoma, both methods could find use. The cell surface markers have been mainly derived from the urothelial basal cell, a probable cell of origin of muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma, with CD14, CD44, CD90, and 67LR representing successful examples of this strategy. The marker-free approaches involve side population sorting, for which a detailed protocol is provided, as well as the Aldefluor assay, which rely on a specific overexpression of efflux pumps or the detoxification enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase, respectively, in stem cells. These assays have been applied to both non-muscle-invasive and muscle-invasive bladder cancer samples and cell lines. Urothelial carcinoma stem cells feature a pronounced heterogeneity as to their molecular stemness mechanisms. Several aspects of urothelial cancer stem cell biology could enter translational development rather soon, e.g., a specific CD44+-derived gene expression signature able to identify non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer patients with a high risk of progression, or deciphering a mechanism responsible for repopulating activity of urothelial carcinoma stem cells within the context of therapeutic resistance.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hatina J, Parmar HS, Kripnerova M, Hepburn A, Heer R

Editor(s): Schulz, WA; Hoffmann, MJ; Niegisch, G

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Urothelial Carcinoma: Methods and Protocols

Year: 2018

Volume: 1655

Pages: 121-136

Online publication date: 10/09/2017

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

Series Title: Methods in Molecular Biology

Publisher: Humana Press Inc.

Place Published: New York


DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7234-0_10

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781493972333