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Oncotarget: A chance for targeting cancer stem cells in human non-small cell lung cancer?


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2020-04-28

Oncotarget recently published "CD44+/EPCAM+ cells detect a subpopulation of ALDHhigh cells in human non-small cell lung cancer: A chance for targeting cancer stem cells?" which reported that a comparison between ALDH high cells and CD44 cells have been previously described with no significant correlation.

This cross-sectional study analyzed the expression of ALDHhigh/low cells and the positivity for CD44 and epithelium cell adhesion molecule antigens in surgical lung cancer tissues.

There was a highly positive correlation between the expressions of ALDHhigh and CD44 /EPCAM cells, with a Pearson's correlation coefficient equal to 0.69, and Spearman's correlation coefficient equal to 0.52.

The average paired difference between the expression of ALDHhigh and CD44 /EPCAM cells was very close to 0, being 0.1%; there was no difference between these subpopulations in terms of means.

The Oncotarget author's study is the first attempt that identifies a high correlation between the ALDHhigh and the CD44 /EPCAM cells, thus suggesting the possibility to use this superficial marker for future target treatments against lung cancer stem cells.

The Oncotarget author's study is the first attempt that identifies a high correlation between the ALDHhigh and the CD44 /EPCAM cells, thus suggesting the possibility to use this superficial marker for future target treatments against lung cancer stem cells

Dr. Beatrice Aramini from The University of Modena and Reggio Emilia said, "The cancer stem cell (CSC) model was proposed over 30 years ago [1] and is a very important field of study in cancer research."

As a cancer stem cell marker in a panel of 11 non-small-cell lung cancer tumor samples, 45 NSCLC lines, and 7 small-cell lung cancer lines.

In 2013 a panel of lung cancer cell lines from primary tumors and characterized a small subpopulation as strongly positive for CD44, with the main population being weakly positive or negative for CD44. The co-expression of CD90 further narrowed down the putative stem cell population.

This showed the putative lung CSC phenotypes of CD166 /CD44 and CD166 /EPCAM with multipotent characteristics of stem cells in lung adenocarcinoma cells.

Hence, a triple-positive marker, EPCAM /CD166 /CD44, has recently been described in the human non-small cell lung cancer cell line.

Nevertheless, although ALDH is considered an intracellular enzyme and is the most used marker to identify CSCs in lung cancer, the scientific community has never correlated this intracellular marker with an epithelial marker, which may be very useful for targeting lung cancer stem cells.

The Aramini Research Team concluded in theirOncotarget Research Paper, “even if we hypothesized that the percentage of CD44 /EPCAM in ALDHhigh cell population would be less than 50% in other patients, the similarity of an intracellular marker highlighting ALDHhigh cell population with a superficial marker CD44 /EPCAM is a very important concept in terms of target treatment.

In summary, our research is an important starting point for further studies that are needed to better define the CD44 /EPCAM superficial marker highlighting lung cancer stem cells.

Figure 4: Potential of tumor sphere formation by CD44+/EPCAM+ sorted cells. (1A1C) representative tumor spheres from CD44+/EPCAM+ sorted cells at 2, 7, and 21 days. (2A2C), tumor spheres exhibit the same number over time and increased area, as measurement at 2, 7, and 21 days indicates.

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DOI - https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.27568

Full text - https://www.oncotarget.com/article/27568/text/

Correspondence to - Beatrice Aramini - beatrice.aramini@unimore.it

Keywords - immunophenotype, cancer stem cells, cancer stem-like cells, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), target therapy

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