Investigating molecular profiles of ovarian cancer: An update on cancer stem cells

Federica Tomao, Anselmo Papa, Strudel Martina, Luigi Rossi, Giuseppe Lo Russo, Pierluigi Benedetti Panici, Francesca Romana Ciabatta, Silverio Tomao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Currently we are more and more improving our knowledge about the characteristics and the role of cancer stem cells in human cancer. Particularly we have realized that self-renewing ovarian cancer stem cells (CSCs) or ovarian cancer-initiating cells, and mesenchymal stem cells (SCs) too, are probably implicated in the etiopathogenesis of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). There is clear evidence that these cells are also involved in its intra- and extra-peritoneal diffusion and in the occurrence of chemo-resistance. In assessing the molecular characteristics of ovarian CSCs, we have to take note that these cellular populations are rare and the absence of specific cell surface markers represents a challenge to isolate and identify pure SC populations. In our review, we focused our attention on the molecular characteristics of epithelial ovarian CSCs and on the methods to detect them starting from their biological features. The study of ovarian CSCs is taking on an increasingly important strategic role, mostly for the potential therapeutic application in the next future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-310
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cancer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Cancer stem cells markers
  • Epithelial ovarian cancer
  • Ovarian cancer stem cells
  • Therapeutic targets
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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