Dr. Weeks’ Comment: If you have thyroid cancer, ask your oncologist what he or she is planning to do in order to kill the real evil cancer cells, the cancer STEM cells which drive the thyroid cancer.
Tumorigenic and Metastatic Activity of Human Thyroid Cancer Stem Cells
Thyroid carcinoma is the most common endocrine malignancy and the first cause of death among endocrine cancers. We show that the tumorigenic capacity in thyroid cancer is confined in a small subpopulation of stem-like cells with high aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDHhigh) activity and unlimited replication potential.
ALDHhigh cells can be expanded indefinitely in vitro as tumor spheres, which retain the tumorigenic potential upon delivery in immunocompromised mice. Orthotopic injection of minute numbers of thyroid cancer stem cells recapitulates the behavior of the parental tumor, including the aggressive metastatic features of undifferentiated thyroid carcinomas, which are sustained by constitutive activation of cMet and Akt in thyroid cancer stem cells. The identification of tumorigenic and metastagenic thyroid cancer cells may provide unprecedented preclinical tools for development and preclinical validation of novel targeted therapies.
Cancer Res; 70(21); 8874–85. ©2010 AACR.