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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 916819, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/916819
Review Article

Ovarian Cancer Stem Cells: A New Target for Cancer Therapy

School of Life Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, New Territories, Hong Kong

Received 28 October 2012; Revised 13 January 2013; Accepted 14 January 2013

Academic Editor: Deepa Bhartiya

Copyright © 2013 Qinglei Zhan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Ovarian cancer is a highly lethal disease among all gynecologic malignancies and is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death in women. Although the standard combination of surgery and chemotherapy was initially effective in patients with ovarian cancer, disease relapse commonly occurred due to the generation of chemoresistance. It has been reported that cancer stem cells (CSCs) are involved in drug resistance and cancer recurrence. Over the past decades, increasing studies have been done to identify CSCs from human ovarian cancer cells. The present paper will summarize different investigations on ovarian CSCs, including isolation, mechanisms of chemoresistance, and therapeutic approaches. Although there are still numerous challenges to translate basic research to clinical applications, understanding the molecular details of CSCs is essential for developing effective strategies to prevent ovarian cancer and its recurrence.