The stem cell hypothesis in head and neck cancer

A. Graziano, R. D'Aquino, V. Tirino, V. Desiderio, A. Rossi, G. Pirozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are tumoral cells which have stem features such as self-renewal, high migration capacity, drug resistance, high proliferation abilities. In the last 10 years the pathological meaning and the existence of CSCs have been matter of discussion and a large number of articles have been published about the role that these cells play in the development and maintenance of the tumors. Head and neck squamous-cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide: early diagnosis of high-risk premalignant lesions are high priorities for reducing deaths due to head and neck cancer. In the last years the CSCs hypothesis has been faced also for head and neck cancer, with the aim of a better comprehension of the tumor biology and an early diagnosis. The evidence that the development of a tumor comes from a small number of cells with stem-like characteristic, could bring too to the identification of therapies against these cellular target, fundamental for maintenance and progression of the lesion. Here, a literature review has been reported about the detection of supposed CSCs in head and neck cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-412
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2008


  • Cancer
  • Stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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