Eliminating Cancer Stem Cells by Targeting Embryonic Signaling Pathways

Ohad Oren, B Douglas Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Dramatic advances have been made in the understanding of cancer over the past decade. Prime among those are better appreciation of the biology of cancer and the development of targeted therapies. Despite these improvements, however, most tumors remain refractory to anti-cancer medications and frequently recur. Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs), which in some cases express markers of pluripotency (e.g., Oct-4), share many of the molecular features of normal stem cells. These cells have been hypothesised to play a role in tumor resistance and relapse. They exhibit dependence on many primitive regulatory pathways and may be best viewed in the context of embryonic signaling pathways. In this article, we review important embryonic signaling cascades and their differential expression in CSCs. We also discuss these pathways as actionable targets for novel therapies in hopes that eliminating cancer stem cells will lead to an improvement in overall survival for patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalStem Cell Reviews and Reports
StateAccepted/In press - Oct 11 2016


  • Cancer stem cells
  • Embryonic signaling
  • Hedgehog pathway
  • HIF
  • Lymphoma
  • Notch pathway
  • Wnt pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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