Role of Cancer Stem Cells in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma – A Systematic-Like Review

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Saudi Digital Library
Background: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), is a serious global concern due to its high mortality rate and the deformation and functional defects associated with the disease. Limited studies in the literature have discussed the most common cancer stem cell (CSC) markers expressed in OSCC. This study aims identify all the papers that discussed markers in OSCC and to identify which of those markers might be the most likely cause of cancer progression, metastasis and resistance to therapy. Methods: A Systematic-like review was conducted by searching PubMed, Scopus, Google and Google Scholar for articles published from 2015 to 2023 using variety of terms: ‘oral cancer’, ‘cancer stem cells’ and ‘cancer treatment resistance’. Studies that examined cancer stem cell markers in OSCC and were published in English were included. Excluded articles were the studies discussed tumors other than OSCC, opinions, editorials, book chapters, and abstracts only. Forty-two articles containing a total of 19 stem cell markers were included. Results: CD44, CD133 and Sry related HMG-Box 2 (SOX2) were the most common CSC markers in OSCC and were responsible for chemoresistance, self-renewal and tumourigenicity. Aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), CD24, B-cell specific Moloney murine leukemia virus integration site 1 (BMI1) and NANOG were involved in metastasis. Conclusion: CSC markers are contributors to metastasis, progression, and treatment resistance in OSCC. Determination of CSC markers involved in OSCC is crucial to developing therapies that target OSCC. Additional studies are needed to accurately identify the role of these markers and to enhance the effectiveness of developed treatments for OSCC. Keywords: Cancer stem cells, OSCC, therapy resistance, ALDH, CD133, CD44, NANOG, SOX-2.
Cancer stem cells, OSCC, therapy resistance, Markers, ALDH, CD133, CD44, NANOG, SOX-2., Metastasis, Self-renewal, Chemoresistance, Radioresistance