Kantonsspital St.Gallen

Ovarian Cancer Stem Cell Heterogeneity

Jiri Hatina, Maximilian Bösch, Sieghart Sopper, Michaela Kripnerova, Dominik Wolf, Daniel Reimer, Christian Marth & Alain G Zeimet

abstract Ovarian carcinoma features pronounced clinical, histopathological, and molecular heterogeneity. There is good reason to believe that parts of this heterogeneity can be explained by differences in the respective cell of origin, with a self-renewing fallopian tube secretory cell being likely responsible for initiation of an overwhelming majority of high-grade serous ovarian carcinomas (i.e., type II tumors according to the recent dualistic classification), whereas there are several mutually non-exclusive possibilities for the initiation of type I tumors, including ovarian surface epithelium stem cells, endometrial cells, or even cells of extra-Müllerian origin. Interestingly, both fallopian tube self-renewing secretory cells and ovarian surface epithelium stem cells seem to be characterized by an overlapping array of stemness signaling pathways, especially Wnt/β-catenin. Apart from this variability in the respective cell of origin, the particular clinical behavior of ovarian carcinoma strongly suggests an underlying stem cell component with a crucial impact. This becomes especially evident in high-grade serous ovarian carcinomas treated with classical chemotherapy, which entails a gradual evolution of chemoresistant disease without any apparent selection of clones carrying obvious chemoresistance-associated mutations. Several cell surface markers (e.g., CD24, CD44, CD117, CD133, and ROR1) as well as functional approaches (ALDEFLUOR™ and side population assays) have been used to identify and characterize putative ovarian carcinoma stem cells. We have recently shown that side population cells exhibit marked heterogeneity on their own, which can hamper their straightforward therapeutic targeting. An alternative strategy for stemness-depleting interventions is to target the stem cell niche, i.e., the specific microanatomical structure that secures stem cell maintenance and survival through provision of a set of stem cell-promoting and differentiation-antagonizing factors. Besides identifying direct or indirect therapeutic targets, profiling of side population cells and other ovarian carcinoma stem cell subpopulations can reveal relevant prognostic markers, as exemplified by our recent discovery of the Vav3.1 transcript variant, which filters out a fraction of prognostically unfavorable ovarian carcinoma cases.
citation Hatina J, Bösch M, Sopper S, Kripnerova M, Wolf D, Reimer D, Marth C, Zeimet A G. Ovarian Cancer Stem Cell Heterogeneity. Adv Exp Med Biol 2019; 1139:201-221.
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 2019
journal title Adv Exp Med Biol (1139)
ISSN print 0065-2598
pages 201-221
PubMed 31134503
DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-14366-4_12