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Experimental therapeutics and drug development

This section covers all aspects of preclinical investigations on therapeutic agents. It welcomes submissions concerning anti-cancer drug discovery and development, and targeted therapies.

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  1. Content type: Research article

    Despite recent progress, investigating the impact of targeted therapies on Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) remains a challenge. We investigated whether short-term culture of tumour fragments woul...

    Authors: Jérôme Donnadieu, Emma Lachaier, Marine Peria, Zuzana Saidak, Stéphanie Dakpe, Jean-Fortune Ikoli, Bruno Chauffert, Cyril Page and Antoine Galmiche

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:273

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  2. Content type: Research article

    Hepcidin, a key regulator of iron metabolism, is produced mainly by interleukin-6 (IL-6) during inflammation. A mechanism linking cancer-related anemia and IL-6 through hepcidin production is suggested. To cla...

    Authors: Mariko Noguchi-Sasaki, Yusuke Sasaki, Yasushi Shimonaka, Kazushige Mori and Kaori Fujimoto-Ouchi

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:270

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  3. Content type: Research article

    Melphalan has been used in the treatment of various hematologic malignancies for almost 60 years. Today it is part of standard therapy for multiple myeloma and also as part of myeloablative regimens in associa...

    Authors: Maryam Delforoush, Sara Strese, Malin Wickström, Rolf Larsson, Gunilla Enblad and Joachim Gullbo

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:263

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  4. Content type: Research article

    Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone receptor (LHRHr) represents a promising therapeutic target for treating sex hormone-dependent tumors. We coupled cecropin B, an antimicrobial peptide, to LHRH’, a form of ...

    Authors: Xiaoyong Li, Bo Shen, Qi Chen, Xiaohui Zhang, Yiqing Ye, Fengmei Wang and Xinmei Zhang

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:251

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  5. Content type: Research article

    The proteasome is a validated anti-cancer target and various small-molecule inhibitors are currently in clinical development or on the market. However, adverse events and resistance associated with those prote...

    Authors: Jonghoon Park, Eok Park, Cheol-Kyu Jung, Seung-Wan Kang, Byung Gyu Kim, Youngjoo Jung, Tae Hun Kim, Ji-Young Lim, Sung-Eun Lee, Chang-Ki Min and Kwang-Ai Won

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:247

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  6. Content type: Research article

    Eliminating cancer stem cells (CSCs) has been suggested for prevention of tumor recurrence and metastasis. Honokiol, an active compound of Magnolia officinalis, had been proposed to be a potential candidate drug ...

    Authors: Jhy-Shrian Huang, Chih-Jung Yao, Shuang-En Chuang, Chi-Tai Yeh, Liang-Ming Lee, Ruei-Ming Chen, Wan-Ju Chao, Jacqueline Whang-Peng and Gi-Ming Lai

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:245

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  7. Content type: Research article

    Nanomedicine is a very promising field and nanomedical drugs have recently been used as therapeutic agents against cancer. In a previous study, we showed that Nanoceria (NCe), nanoparticles of cerium oxide, si...

    Authors: Miriana Hijaz, Soumen Das, Ismail Mert, Ankur Gupta, Zaid Al-Wahab, Calvin Tebbe, Sajad Dar, Jasdeep Chhina, Shailendra Giri, Adnan Munkarah, Sudipta Seal and Ramandeep Rattan

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:220

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  8. Content type: Research article

    Alpha-tocopheryloxyacetic acid (α-TEA) is a semi-synthetic derivative of naturally occurring vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) that can be delivered via an oral route. Preclinical in vitro and in vivo data demonstr...

    Authors: Bella S. Guerrouahen, Tobias Hahn, Zefora Alderman, Brendan Curti, Walter Urba and Emmanuel T. Akporiaye

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:199

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  9. Content type: Research article

    Group IVA cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2α) plays an important role in tumorigenesis and angiogenesis. It is overexpressed in basal-like breast cancer (BLBC), which is aggressive and usually triple-negative,...

    Authors: Eugene Kim, Hanna Maja Tunset, Jana Cebulla, Riyas Vettukattil, Heidi Helgesen, Astrid Jullumstrø Feuerherm, Olav Engebråten, Gunhild Mari Mælandsmo, Berit Johansen and Siver Andreas Moestue

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:191

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  10. Content type: Research article

    Anti-fibrotic drugs such as pirfenidone have been developed for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Because activated fibroblasts in inflammatory conditions have similar characteristics as cancer-a...

    Authors: Melanie Mediavilla-Varela, Kingsley Boateng, David Noyes and Scott J. Antonia

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:176

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  11. Content type: Research article

    Novel therapies are needed for children with high-risk and relapsed neuroblastoma. We hypothesized that MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK) inhibition with the novel MEK1/2 inhibitor binimetinib would be effective in neurob...

    Authors: Sarah E. Woodfield, Linna Zhang, Kathleen A. Scorsone, Yin Liu and Peter E. Zage

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:172

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  12. Content type: Research article

    Platinum-based drugs are used as cancer chemotherapeutics for the last 40 years. However, drug resistance and nephrotoxicity are the major limitations of the use of platinum-based compounds in cancer therapy. ...

    Authors: Einav Ratzon, Yousef Najajreh, Rami Salem, Hazem Khamaisie, Martin Ruthardt and Jamal Mahajna

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:140

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  13. Content type: Research article

    The link between inflammation and cancer has been confirmed by the use of anti-inflammatory therapies in cancer prevention and treatment. 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) was shown to decrease the growth and surv...

    Authors: Mona M. Saber, May A. Galal, Afaf A. Ain-Shoka and Samia A. Shouman

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:126

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  14. Content type: Research article

    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality, and new therapeutic options are urgently needed. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 85 % of all lung cancers, with the c...

    Authors: Colin Charles Tièche, Ren-Wang Peng, Patrick Dorn, Laurène Froment, Ralph Alexander Schmid and Thomas Michael Marti

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:125

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  15. Content type: Research article

    c-Met is the receptor tyrosine kinase for hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) encoded by the MET proto-oncogene. Aberrant activation of c-Met resulting from MET amplification and c-Met overexpression is associated wit...

    Authors: Jieyi Wang, Liliane Goetsch, Lora Tucker, Qian Zhang, Alexandra Gonzalez, Kedar S. Vaidya, Anatol Oleksijew, Erwin Boghaert, Minghao Song, Irina Sokolova, Ekaterina Pestova, Mark Anderson, William N. Pappano, Peter Ansell, Anahita Bhathena, Louie Naumovski…

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:105

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  16. Content type: Research article

    The HOX genes are a family of homeodomain-containing transcription factors that determine cellular identity during development and which are dys-regulated in some cancers. In this study we examined the expression...

    Authors: Richard Morgan, Guy Simpson, Sophie Gray, Cheryl Gillett, Zsuzsanna Tabi, James Spicer, Kevin J. Harrington and Hardev S. Pandha

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:85

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  17. Content type: Research article

    Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is an aggressive, highly lethal tumors and lacks of effective chemo and targeted therapies. Cell lines and animal models, even partially reflecting tumor characteristics, ...

    Authors: Giuliana Cavalloni, Caterina Peraldo-Neia, Francesco Sassi, Giovanna Chiorino, Ivana Sarotto, Massimo Aglietta and Francesco Leone

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:90

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  18. Content type: Research article

    E.coli type II L-asparaginase is widely used for treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. However, serious side effects such as allergic or hypersensitivity reactions are common for L-asparaginase treatment....

    Authors: Vadim S. Pokrovsky, Marat D. Kazanov, Ilya N. Dyakov, Marina V. Pokrovskaya and Svetlana S. Aleksandrova

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:89

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  19. Content type: Research article

    Pseudomonas fluorescens lectin (PFL) belongs to a recently discovered anti-HIV lectin family and induces anoikis-like cell death of MKN28 gastric cancer cells by causing α2 integrin internalization through recogn...

    Authors: Yuichiro Sato, Takanori Kubo, Kinjiro Morimoto, Kazuyoshi Yanagihara and Toshio Seyama

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:63

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  20. Content type: Research article

    Photoimmunotherapy (PIT) is a novel type of molecular optical imaging-guided cancer phototherapy based on a monoclonal antibody conjugated to a photosensitizer, IR700, in combination with near-infrared (NIR) l...

    Authors: Kimihiro Ito, Makoto Mitsunaga, Seiji Arihiro, Masayuki Saruta, Mika Matsuoka, Hisataka Kobayashi and Hisao Tajiri

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:37

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  21. Content type: Research article

    Studies in taxane and/or anthracycline refractory metastatic breast cancer (mBC) patients have shown approximately 30 % response rates to irinotecan. Hence, a significant number of patients will experience iri...

    Authors: Haatisha Jandu, Kristina Aluzaite, Louise Fogh, Sebastian Wingaard Thrane, Julie B. Noer, Joanna Proszek, Khoa Nguyen Do, Stine Ninel Hansen, Britt Damsgaard, Signe Lykke Nielsen, Magnus Stougaard, Birgitta R. Knudsen, José Moreira, Petra Hamerlik, Madhavsai Gajjar, Marcel Smid…

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:34

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  22. Content type: Research article

    c-Met signaling has been implicated in oncogenesis especially in cells with c-met gene amplification. Since 20 % of gastric cancer patients show high level of c-Met expression, c-Met has been identified as a good...

    Authors: Chi Hoon Park, Sung Yun Cho, Jae Du Ha, Heejung Jung, Hyung Rae Kim, Chong Ock Lee, In-Young Jang, Chong Hak Chae, Heung Kyoung Lee and Sang Un Choi

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:35

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  23. Content type: Research article

    Betulinic acid (BA), a member of pentacyclic triterpenes has shown important biological activities like anti-bacterial, anti-malarial, anti-inflammatory and most interestingly anticancer property. To overcome ...

    Authors: Debasmita Dutta, Biswajit Chakraborty, Ankita Sarkar, Chinmay Chowdhury and Padma Das

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:23

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  24. Content type: Research article

    Chemotherapy is the only therapy option for the majority of AML patients, however, there are several limitations for this treatment. Our aim was to find a new chemotherapy strategy that is more effective and l...

    Authors: Zhifei Xu, JinJin Shao, Lin Li, Xueming Peng, Min Chen, Guanqun Li, Hao Yan, Bo Yang, Peihua Luo and Qiaojun He

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2016 16:2

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  25. Content type: Research article

    Thyroid cancer has been indicated to have a higher global proportion of DNA methylation and a decreased level of histone acetylation. Previous studies showed that histone gene reviser and epigenetic changes ro...

    Authors: Seok-Mo Kim, Ki-Cheong Park, Jeong-Yong Jeon, Bup-Woo Kim, Hyeung-Kyoo Kim, Ho-Jin Chang, Seung-Hoon Choi, Cheong-Soo Park and Hang-Seok Chang

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:1003

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  26. Content type: Research article

    Metastasis is the major cause of death in breast cancers. MMPs play a key role in tumor microenvironment that facilitates metastasis. The existing researches suggest that the high expression of gelatinase A an...

    Authors: Shimin Pei, Xu Yang, Huanan Wang, Hong Zhang, Bin Zhou, Di Zhang and Degui Lin

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:965

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  27. Content type: Research article

    Silence of the tumor suppressor miR-34c is implicated in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). For the past few years, Resveratrol (Res) has been introduced to oncotherapies alone or with traditional chemot...

    Authors: Shu Yang, Wenshuai Li, Haimei Sun, Bo Wu, Fengqing Ji, Tingyi Sun, Huanhuan Chang, Ping Shen, Yaxi Wang and Deshan Zhou

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:969

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  28. Content type: Research article

    Doxorubicin (Dox) is widely used to treat progressed bladder cancer after transurethral resection. The use of Dox-chemotherapy has been limited due to induced drug resistance and cumulative cardiotoxic effects...

    Authors: Dmitriy Smolensky, Kusum Rathore and Maria Cekanova

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:927

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  29. Content type: Research article

    Colorectal cancer is the third most common malignancy in humans and novel therapeutic approaches are urgently needed. Autophagy is an evolutionarily highly conserved cellular process by which cells collect unn...

    Authors: Bruno Christian Koehler, Adam Jassowicz, Anna-Lena Scherr, Stephan Lorenz, Praveen Radhakrishnan, Nicole Kautz, Christin Elssner, Johanna Weiss, Dirk Jaeger, Martin Schneider and Henning Schulze-Bergkamen

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:919

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  30. Content type: Research article

    Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the major malignant diseases worldwide, especially in Asia, and Japan and Korea have the highest incidence in the world. Because most of the cases that are refractory to therapies...

    Authors: Norihisa Saeki, Rie Komatsuzaki, Fumiko Chiwaki, Kazuyoshi Yanagihara and Hiroki Sasaki

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:439

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  31. Content type: Research article

    Overexpression or mutation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) potently enhances the growth of many solid tumors. Tumor cells frequently display resistance to mechanistically-distinct EGFR-directed ...

    Authors: Ursula D. Ramirez, Anna S. Nikonova, Hanqing Liu, Anna Pecherskaya, Sarah H. Lawrence, Ilya G. Serebriiskii, Yan Zhou, Matthew K. Robinson, Margret B. Einarson, Erica A. Golemis and Eileen K. Jaffe

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:436

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  32. Content type: Research article

    The hypoxia-activated prodrug TH-302 is reduced at its nitroimidazole group and selectively under hypoxic conditions releases the DNA cross-linker bromo-isophosphoramide mustard (Br-IPM). Here, we have explore...

    Authors: Fanying Meng, Deepthi Bhupathi, Jessica D Sun, Qian Liu, Dharmendra Ahluwalia, Yan Wang, Mark D Matteucci and Charles P Hart

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:422

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  33. Content type: Research article

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer death globally and new biomarkers and treatments are severely needed.

    Authors: Elena Pedraz-Cuesta, Sandra Christensen, Anders A. Jensen, Niels Frank Jensen, Lennart Bunch, Maria Unni Romer, Nils Brünner, Jan Stenvang and Stine Falsig Pedersen

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:411

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  34. Content type: Research article

    Cancer-specific survival has changed remarkably little over the past half century, mainly because metastases that are occult at diagnosis and generally resistant to chemotherapy subsequently develop months, ye...

    Authors: Robert E. Hurst, Paul J. Hauser, Youngjae You, Lora C. Bailey-Downs, Anja Bastian, Stephen M. Matthews, Jessica Thorpe, Christine Earle, Lilly Y. W. Bourguignon and Michael A. Ihnat

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:404

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  35. Content type: Research article

    Accumulating evidence suggests that breast cancer involves tumour-initiating cells (TICs), which play a role in initiation, metastasis, therapeutic resistance and relapse of the disease. Emerging drugs that ta...

    Authors: Bing Yan, Marina Stantic, Renata Zobalova, Ayenachew Bezawork-Geleta, Michael Stapelberg, Jan Stursa, Katerina Prokopova, Lanfeng Dong and Jiri Neuzil

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:401

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  36. Content type: Technical advance

    The monocarboxylate transporter-1 (MCT1) represents a novel target in rational anticancer drug design while AZD3965 was developed as an inhibitor of this transporter and is undergoing Phase I clinical trials (

    Authors: Stephen Kershaw, Jeffrey Cummings, Karen Morris, Jonathan Tugwood and Caroline Dive

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:387

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  37. Content type: Research article

    To evaluate the in vivo response by detecting the anti-angiogenic and invasion-inhibiting effects of a triple-combination-therapy in an experimental-small-animal-squamous-cell-carcinoma-model using the “flash-...

    Authors: Philipp Marius Paprottka, Svenja Roßpunt, Michael Ingrisch, Clemens C Cyran, Konstantin Nikolaou, Maximilian F Reiser, Brigitte Mack, Olivier Gires, Dirk A Clevert and Pamela Zengel

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:373

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  38. Content type: Research article

    Hepatocyte carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common malignancies worldwide. Despite many achievements in diagnosis and treatment, HCC mortality remains high due to the malignant nature of the disease. Novel a...

    Authors: Hao Liu, Qun Wei, Jia Wang, Xiaoming Huang, Chunchun Li, Qiaoli Zheng, Jiang Cao and Zhenyu Jia

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:325

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  39. Content type: Research article

    5-fluorouracil (5-FU) is employed to enhance radiotherapy (RT) effect. Here, we evaluated the influence of whole-pelvic irradiation on the pharmacokinetics (PK) of 5-FU in plasma and lymphatic system of rats a...

    Authors: Chen-Hsi Hsieh, Mei-Ling Hou, Li-Ying Wang, Hung-Chi Tai, Tung-Hu Tsai and Yu-Jen Chen

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:316

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  40. Content type: Research article

    Natural Killer (NK) cells play an important role in tumor prevention, but once tumors form, the numbers as well as the cytotoxic functions of NK cells are reduced. IL-15 is a cytokine that increases and activa...

    Authors: Amy E Gillgrass, Marianne V Chew, Tamara Krneta and Ali A Ashkar

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:293

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  41. Content type: Research article

    Breast cancer is a complex heterogeneous disease and is one of the leading causes of death among women. In addressing the need for treatments of this life-threatening illness, we studied 3,4-dihydropyrimidin-2...

    Authors: Bruna C Guido, Luciana M Ramos, Diego O Nolasco, Catharine C Nobrega, Bárbara YG Andrade, Aline Pic-Taylor, Brenno AD Neto and José R Corrêa

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:283

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  42. Content type: Research article

    Fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) is correlated closely with the occurrence and development of lung cancer. FGFR1 kinase inhibitors have exhibited significant therapeutic effects against non-small-ce...

    Authors: Jianzhang Wu, Tao Wei, Qinqin Tang, Bixia Weng, Wulan Li, Xin Jiang, Ting Ding, Xiaokun Li, Guang Liang, Yuepiao Cai and Jiansong Ji

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:276

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  43. Content type: Research article

    The treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an unmet clinical need. The 5-year survival rate of patients with GBM is less than 3%. Temozolomide (TMZ) remains the standard first-line treatment regimen for...

    Authors: Dawn Q Chong, Xin Y Toh, Ivy AW Ho, Kian C Sia, Jennifer P Newman, Yulyana Yulyana, Wai-Hoe Ng, Siang H Lai, Mac MF Ho, Nivedh Dinesh, Chee K Tham and Paula YP Lam

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:255

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  44. Content type: Research article

    Cancer stem cell (CSC) research has highlighted the necessity of developing drugs targeting CSCs. We investigated a hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell line that not only has CSC hierarchy but also shows pheno...

    Authors: Takeshi Yamada, Masato Abei, Inaho Danjoh, Ryoko Shirota, Taro Yamashita, Ichinosuke Hyodo and Yukio Nakamura

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:260

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  45. Content type: Research article

    To overcome the limitations of animal-based experiments, 3D culture models mimicking the tumor microenvironment in vivo are gaining attention. Herein, we investigated an alginate-based 3D scaffold for screening o...

    Authors: Mehdi Shakibaei, Patricia Kraehe, Bastian Popper, Parviz Shayan, Ajay Goel and Constanze Buhrmann

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:250

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  46. Content type: Research article

    Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a heterogeneous group of malignant disorders derived from B- or T-cell lymphoid progenitor cells. ALL often is refractory to or relapses after treatment; thus, novel targe...

    Authors: Yanli Jin, Qi Cao, Chun Chen, Xin Du, Bei Jin and Jingxuan Pan

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:226

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  47. Content type: Research article

    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is a particularly challenging malignancy characterized by poor responsiveness to conventional chemotherapy. Although this tumor frequently overexpresses or possesses constituti...

    Authors: Nerea Urtasun, Anna Vidal-Pla, Sandra Pérez-Torras and Adela Mazo

    Citation: BMC Cancer 2015 15:223

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