About this Research Topic
Background: Endocrine tumors (ETs) are a mixed group of benign and malignant diseases characterized by uncontrolled cellular proliferation of the hormone-producing glands of the endocrine system. Alterations in the normal hormonal production because of the tumor transformation of the endocrine cells can affect the endocrine homeostasis at a different degree, resulting in further clinical complications associated to the tumor. Complexity and heterogeneity characterize ETs, which include neuroendocrine tumors, adrenocortical adenomas and carcinomas, pheochromocytomas/paragangliomas, thyroid cancers, prostate cancers, testis and ovarian cancers, pancreatic tumors, as well as all tumors originating in any endocrine component of an organ. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) represent a tumor sub-population characterized by self-renewal ability, high metastatic potential and chemoresistance, whose role in ET pathogenesis and progression is still poorly understood.
Goal: The major challenges for clinicians and researchers in onco-endocrinology is to identify and characterize the CSCs in each type of ET and to dissect the mechanisms by which CSCs regulate tumor development and progression in order to identify potential biomarkers of the response to therapies and chemoresistance. Accordingly, it is urgently needed to better clarify the biology of ET-specific CSC populations to develop innovative CSC-targeted and more efficacious anti-tumor strategies.
Scope: Given the clinical impact of CSCs in cancer progression, the aim of this Research Topic is to provide a comprehensive picture of this cancer cell subpopulation in a variety of ETs and touching multiple aspects (origin, role in cancer progression, cross-talk with the tumor microenvironment, genetic and/or epigenetic reprogramming, druggable deregulated pathways, identification of diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers, sensitivity to novel drugs), pivotal for a better understanding of ETs, with particular attention to the potential therapeutic implications.
Details for Authors: Authors involved in the study of CSCs in ETs are welcomed to submit their work, including Original Research, Methods, Protocols, Review, Mini Review, Systematic Review, Perspective, Clinical Trial and Opinion.
Keywords: CSCs, EMT, Microenvironment, Genetics and Epigenetics, Target Therapy
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