Cancer stem cells in nasopharyngeal carcinoma: current evidence

Fenggang Yu, Kwok Seng Loh


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is highly prevalent in southern China and Southeast Asia. Cancer resistance to therapy, metastasis and disease recurrence are significant hurdles to successful treatment of NPC. Identifying mechanisms by which NPC is resistant is critical to improving patient survival. Evidence gathered in the last decade suggests that tumor progression and recurrence may be fuelled by cancer stem cells (CSCs). Understanding how CSCs contribute to the pathology of NPC will potentially aid the pursuit of novel therapies. In this review we summarize what major methods are currently used to identify CSCs in NPC and the challenges faced.


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Cancer stem cells

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