Characterization of Cancer Stem Cells in Renal Clear Cell Carcinoma

Authors: Reuben Cane, Andrew Kennedy-Smith, Helen D. Brasch, Stephanie Savage, Reginald W. Marsh, Tinte Itinteang, Swee T. Tan 

Journal of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (2019) Volume 5, pp6 – 17.

Renal cell carcinoma is the ninth most common cancer, with renal clear cell carcinoma comprising up to 85% of renal cell carcinomas. Obesity, smoking and high blood pressure are well-established risk factors for these cancers.

Surgery is the conventional treatment although there is still a 40% recurrence rate. 30% eventually develop metastases. Advanced disease can be treated with drugs. The five-year survival rate is only 10%.

The GMRI and collaborators have proposed that tumour development and proliferation is driven by cancer stem cells that possess self-renewal and pluripotent properties and are responsible for metastasis and recurrence. Our research has demonstrated that many types of cancer express cancer stem cells.

This study concludes that there are at least two types of cancer stem cells in renal clear cell carcinoma, each expressing several common constituents with some constituents that are unique to a specific population. There is evidence that one of these populations is more mature than the other.

Therefore it has now been demonstrated that this most common type of kidney cancer has cancer stem cells similarly to many other cancers. The implication is that the GMRI’s novel cancer treatment approach may be efficacious.