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Colorectal cancer stem cells and cell death

  • Autori: Catalano V.; Gaggianesi M.; Spina V.; Iovino F.; Dieli F.; Stassi G.; Todaro M.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2011
  • Tipologia: Review essay (rassegna critica)
  • OA Link:


Nowadays it is reported that, similarly to other solid tumors, colorectal cancer is sustained by a rare subset of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs), which survive conventional anticancer treatments, hanks to efficient mechanisms allowing escape from apoptosis, triggering tumor recurrence. To improve patient outcomes, conventional anticancer therapies have to be replaced with specific approaches targeting CSCs. In this review we provide strong support that BMP4 is an innovative therapeutic approach to prevent colon cancer growth increasing differentiation markers expression and apoptosis. Recent data suggest that in colorectal CSCs, protection from apoptosis is achieved by interleukin-4 (IL-4) autocrine production through upregulation of antiapoptotic mediators, including survivin. Consequently, IL-4 neutralization could deregulate survivin expression and localization inducing chemosensitivity of the colon CSCs pool. © 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.