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Novel regulators of prostate cancer stem cells and tumor aggressiveness

Promotor: R.C.M. Pelger Co-Promotor: G. van der Pluijm

Eugenio Zoni
05 april 2016
Thesis in Leiden Repository

In the past decade it became increasingly clear that tumor heterogeneity represents one of the major problems for cancer treatment, also in prostate cancer. The identification of the molecular properties of highly aggressive cells (Cancer Stem Cells, CSCs) dispersed within the tumor represents a challenge for the identification of new efficient therapies. In most of the cases, current treatments are indeed successful in eradicating the primary tumor. However, the clinical evidence of relapse and the occurrence of therapy resistance, suggest the presence of subpopulation of cells within the tumor, that can survive such treatments and can perpetuate the cancer. In this thesis we investigated the molecular properties of selected highly aggressive CSCs and indentified novel modulators responsible for the maintenance of their aggressive behavior. Collectively, the studies described in this thesis have increased our insights into the molecular properties of highly metastatic and tumorigenic prostate cancer stem-like cells and provided new targets for possible diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

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