A subpopulation of CD133+ cancer stem-like cells characterized in human oral squamous cell carcinoma confer resistance to chemotherapy

Qunzhou Zhang, Shihong Shi, Yun Yen, Jimmy Brown, Joseph Quoc Ta, Anh D. Le

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164 Citations (Scopus)


The potential role of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) in chemoresistance of human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) was examined. A small subpopulation (1-2%) of CD133+ CSCs was identified in OSCC cell lines and tissues. These CD133+ CSCs possess higher clonogenicity, invasiveness, and increased in vivo tumorigenicity as compared to CD133- counterparts. Meanwhile, CD133+ CSCs were substantially resistant to standard chemotherapy, wherein both in vitro and in vivo treatment with paclitaxel resulted in a marked enrichment for CD133+ CSCs. Our data suggest that CD133+ cells represent a small subpopulation of CSCs that may contribute to chemoresistance in human OSCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 28 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • CD133 cancer stem-like cell
  • Chemoresistance
  • Oral squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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