13th Asia-Pacific Oncologists Annual Meeting
University of Malaya, Malaysia
Title: Targeting cancer stem cells in hepatocellular carcinoma: Therapeutic opportunities and challenges
Biography: Thamil Selvee Ramasamy
Hepatocellular carcinoma remains one of the most prevalent malignancies worldwide with chemoresistance and recurrence being the major hurdles leading to the failure of conventional anti-cancer treatment. Acquired resistance and metastasis are the two key challenges thought to be caused by cancer stem cells (CSC), a sub-population of cancer cells with stem cell properties, which are enriched upon conventional chemo- or radio-therapy. Numerous lines of evidence unravel the molecular mechanism undelying differential phenotypic behaviour of CSC, importantly; (1) the stem cell related signaling pathways, including Wnt/β-catenin, Sonic Hedgehog, Notch and PI3K/Akt/mTOR, (2) microRNA and epigenetics (3) the epithelial-mesenchymal transition and (4) evading from the immune system. Acquisition of these properties masking CSCs from being targeted by anti-cancer agents. Therefore, development of new strategies and discovery of inhibitors/lead compounds to enhance the chemosensitisation in CSC via reversal of EMT, modulation of critical regulators such as signaling pathways, microRNA and epigenetics, have the potential to be developed as an adjuvant anti-cancer treatment modalitites. The current effort are channeled towads the development and furmulation of these molecules using nanotechnology approaches to overcome the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic drawbacks in order to develop an effective and targeted therapy for eradicating cancer.