Educational Review

Pediatric Nephrology

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 815-823

Targeted therapy aimed at cancer stem cells: Wilms’ tumor as an example

  • Rachel ShukrunAffiliated withPediatric Stem Cell Research Institute, Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital, Sheba Medical CenterSheba Centers for Regenerative Medicine and Cancer Research, Sheba Medical CenterSackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
  • , Naomi Pode ShakkedAffiliated withPediatric Stem Cell Research Institute, Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital, Sheba Medical CenterSheba Centers for Regenerative Medicine and Cancer Research, Sheba Medical CenterSackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
  • , Benjamin DekelAffiliated withPediatric Stem Cell Research Institute, Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital, Sheba Medical CenterSheba Centers for Regenerative Medicine and Cancer Research, Sheba Medical CenterSackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv UniversityDivision of Pediatric Nephrology, Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital, Sheba Medical Center Email author 

Abstract

Wilms’ tumor (WT), a common renal pediatric solid tumor, serves as a model for a malignancy formed by renal precursor cells that have failed to differentiate properly. Here we review recent evidence showing that the tumors’ heterogeneous cell population contains a small fraction of cancer stem cells (CSC) identified by two markers: Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule 1 (NCAM1) expression and Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) enzymatic activity. In vivo studies show these CSCs to both self-renew and differentiate to give rise to all tumor components. Similar to other malignancies, the identification of a specific CSC fraction has allowed the examination of a novel targeted therapy, aimed at eradicating the CSC population. The loss of CSCs abolishes the tumor’s ability to sustain and propagate, hence, causing tumor degradation with minimal damage to normal tissue.

Keywords

Wilms’ tumor Cancer stem cells Kidney stem cells Renal progenitor cells Targeted therapy