Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most prevalent neoplasia of oral cavity. The comprehension of this neoplasia is limited regarding its origin and which cells are involved in tumor development and progression, difficulting to establish an effective treatment and preventive strategies. The identification of neoplastic cells subpopulations on oral squamous cell carcinoma fundamental for tumoral expansion and metastasis, is essential to improve treatment and increase survival rates of patients OSCC. Recently, it was reported that head and neck squamous cell carcinomas presents a subpopulation of tumoral initiators cells that apparently correspond to malignant stem cells, also responsible for tumor growth. This knowledge raised the perspective of new therapeutic approaches, and a better understanding of tumor development mechanisms. Despite several advances on stem cells research, there are few studies focused on the analysis of oral squamous cell carcinoma stem cells. The main purpose of the present study is the isolation and characterization of oral squamous cell carcinoma stem cells from established cell lines using specifics cell markers. Additionally, the gene expression profile of these cells will be analyzed to identify important cell signaling molecules for the regulation of OSCC stem cells, and also, their functional hole in controlling essentials cellular processes to the malignant transformation. The protein expression of these genes will be evaluated in OSCC and non-neoplastic oral tissue samples and subsequently related to clinicopathological features and overall survival.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: