Size does matter: why polyploid tumor cells are critical drug targets in the war on cancer

Coward, Jermaine and Harding, Angus (2014) Size does matter: why polyploid tumor cells are critical drug targets in the war on cancer. Frontiers in Oncology, 4 123: 1-15. doi:10.3389/fonc.2014.00123

Author Coward, Jermaine
Harding, Angus
Title Size does matter: why polyploid tumor cells are critical drug targets in the war on cancer
Journal name Frontiers in Oncology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2234-943X
Publication date 2014-05-26
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3389/fonc.2014.00123
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 4
Issue 123
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publisher Frontiers Research Foundation
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Tumor evolution presents a formidable obstacle that currently prevents the development of truly curative treatments for cancer. In this perspective, we advocate for the hypothesis that tumor cells with significantly elevated genomic content (polyploid tumor cells) facilitate rapid tumor evolution and the acquisition of therapy resistance in multiple incurable cancers. We appeal to studies conducted in yeast, cancer models, and cancer patients, which all converge on the hypothesis that polyploidy enables large phenotypic leaps, providing access to many different therapy-resistant phenotypes. We develop a flow-cytometry based method for quantifying the prevalence of polyploid tumor cells, and show the frequency of these cells in patient tumors may be higher than is generally appreciated. We then present recent studies identifying promising new therapeutic strategies that could be used to specifically target polyploid tumor cells in cancer patients. We argue that these therapeutic approaches should be incorporated into new treatment strategies aimed at blocking tumor evolution by killing the highly evolvable, therapy-resistant polyploid cell subpopulations, thus helping to maintain patient tumors in a drug sensitive state.
Keyword Polyploidy
Tumor evolution
Therapy resistance
Tumor initiation
Cancer stem cell
Chromosomal instability
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
UQ Diamantina Institute Publications
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 15 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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