Targeting tumor initiating cells through inhibition of cancer testis antigens and notch signaling: A hypothesis

Michela Colombo, Leonardo Mirandola, Adair Reidy, Natallia Suvorava, Venu Konala, Raffaella Chiaramonte, Fabio Grizzi, Rakhshanda Layeequr Rahman, Marjorie R. Jenkins, Diane D. Nugyen, Scott Dalhbeck, Everardo Cobos, Jose A. Figueroa, Maurizio Chiriva-Internati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Tumor initiating cells (TICs) differ from normal stem cells (SCs) in their ability to initiate tumorigenesis, invasive growth, metastasis and the acquisition of chemo and/or radio-resistance. Over the past years, several studies have indicated the potential role of the Notch system as a key regulator of cellular stemness and tumor development. Furthermore, the expression of cancer testis antigens (CTA) in TICs, and their role in SC differentiation and biology, has become an important area of investigation. Here, we propose a model in which CTA expression and Notch signaling interacts to maintain the sustainability of self-replicating tumor populations, ultimately leading to the development of metastasis, drug resistance and cancer progression. We hypothesize that Notch-CTA interactions in TICs offer a novel opportunity for meaningful therapeutic interventions in cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-199
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Reviews of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Associate Dean for Oncology Programs at TTUHSC, The Billy and Ruby Power Endowment for Cancer Research, The Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health, Kiromic, LLC and Endowed Chair for Excellence in Women’s Health Director of Breast Health Service.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.


  • Cancer
  • Cancer testis antigens
  • Notch signaling
  • Stem cells


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