Colorectal cancer stem cells and cell death

Matilde Todaro, Miriam Gaggianesi, Flora Iovino, Francesco Dieli, Giorgio Stassi, Valentina Spina, Miriam Gaggianesi, Veronica Catalano, Giorgio Stassi, Matilde Todaro, Flora Iovino, Valentina Spina, Veronica Catalano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Nowadays it is reported that, similarly to other solid tumors, colorectal cancer is sustained by a rare subset of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs), which survive conventional anticancer treatments, hanks to efficient mechanisms allowing escape from apoptosis, triggering tumor recurrence. To improve patient outcomes, conventional anticancer therapies have to be replaced with specific approaches targeting CSCs. In this review we provide strong support that BMP4 is an innovative therapeutic approach to prevent colon cancer growth increasing differentiation markers expression and apoptosis. Recent data suggest that in colorectal CSCs, protection from apoptosis is achieved by interleukin-4 (IL-4) autocrine production through upregulation of antiapoptotic mediators, including survivin. Consequently, IL-4 neutralization could deregulate survivin expression and localization inducing chemosensitivity of the colon CSCs pool. © 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1929-1946
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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