IDENTIFICATION OF A BIOMARCATOR OF STAMINALITY IN HCC CELLS AND THEIR TREATMENT
The present invention is placed in the field of diagnosis of the stem cell nature of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and of its therapy. In particular it refers to a method for the identification of a stem cell biomarker, the CD44 glycoprotein, in HCC cells and to the use of this predictive indicator on ex vivo samples for an evaluation of the resistance of the stem cell niche in samples of HCC.
This invention stems from the need for a method which allows to identify a specific biomarker of the stem cell nature of hepatocellular carcinoma tumor cells. This biomarker has been identified in the CD44 glycoprotein; this new biomarker used on ex vivo tissues represents a predictive indicator of the stemness of HCC, representing a starting point for the identification of a new therapeutic target in order to decrease the aggressiveness of the tumor and reduce the risk of recurrence.
The reduction of CD44 demonstrates the essential role of this glycoprotein in determining the stemness and therefore a greater aggressiveness of hepatocellular carcinoma. Furthermore, the results obtained regarding the influence of CD44 silencing on the stem cell phenotype strongly support that the expression of CD44 expression can be recommended for the treatment of stem cell resistance in hepatocellular carcinoma. The agent causing the release of CD44 expression is any gene silencing method.
- Use as a predictive biomarker for HCC
- The discovery of this biomarker allows us to identify a new therapeutic target in order to decrease the aggressiveness of the tumor and reduce the risk of relapse
- Reduction of side effects typical of a pharmacological treatment based on Sorafenib
- Gene silencing cannot induce “off-target” effects, which cannot be ruled out by pharmacological treatment
- Silencing is a more specific approach and therefore allows with absolute certainty the affirmation of cause/effect