Targeting Bladder Cancer Stem Cells: One Step Closer to the Clinic?

A. V. Kurtova, K. S. Chan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


There is accumulating evidence supporting that the bladder urothelium contains self-renewing stem cells important for maintaining normal tissue homeostasis and injury response. It is therefore unsurprising that cancers arising from such hierarchically organized urothelial tissues retain features of cellular differentiation. Bladder cancer stem cells (CSCs) (or tumor-initiating cells) have been isolated and studied for their phenotypic and functional properties. Since these cells were demonstrated to be intrinsically resistant and could evade conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy, they become ideal targets for anticancer therapies. In the current book chapter, we will highlight the recent progress in the investigation of normal urothelial and neoplastic bladder stem cells. We will focus on prognostic developments using CSC (or differentiation) markers to subclassify bladder cancer into subtypes that correlate with clinical outcome, the contribution of cellular differentiation signaling pathways and their cross talk with the stromal microenvironment to drive different cancer subtypes, and finally, the clinical implications of targeting CSCs as the next generation anticancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCancer Stem Cells
Subtitle of host publicationTargeting the Roots of Cancer, Seeds of Metastasis, and Sources of Therapy Resistance
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780128039342
ISBN (Print)9780128038925
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Basal cancer subtype
  • Bladder cancer stem cells
  • Cytokeratin 14
  • Cytotoxic chemotherapy
  • Stat3
  • Tumor repopulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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