CBTE BioE Seminar Series: The role of intra-and inter-cellular communication mechanisms in cancer stem cell maintenance
Thursday, April 7, 2016
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Fitzpatrick Center Schiciano Auditorium Side B
Justin Lathia, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine Lerner Research Institute
Justin Lathia, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Cellular and Molecular MedicineLerner Research InstituteTitle: The role of intra-and inter-cellular communication mechanisms in cancer stem cell maintenance Abstract: Glioblastoma (GBM) remains one of the most devastating diseases, despite maximal treatments consisting of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Therapeutic failure is due in large part to the inability to surgically debulk all tumor cells, which are often invasive. GBM cellular heterogeneity also contributes to recurrence via the presence of a population of cancer stem cells (CSCs) with self-renewal properties, the ability to propagate tumors, increased invasiveness, and resistance to radiation and chemotherapy. CSCs reside in distinct anatomical locations and interact with a specialized microenvironment (or niche). Localized communication with niche components influences the position of a cell within the tumor hierarchy and impacts invasion and resistance to chemo- and radio-therapies. Recent work has demonstrated the importance both of direct cell-cell communication to drive CSC maintenance as well as communication between CSCs and infiltrating immune cells that results in alterations in the immune microenvironment. Progress in these areas will be discussed along with leveraging these molecular mechanisms to other advanced cancers, including breast cancer that remains among the most lethal and aggressive tumor types.