Treatment of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) has been a success primarily due to the exquisite responsiveness of this solid tumor to cisplatin-based therapy. Despite the promise of cure for the majority of TGCT patients, the effectiveness of therapy for some patients is limited by toxicity and the problem of resistance. There is compelling rationale to further understand the biology of TGCTs in order to better treat other solid tumors and to address the shortcomings of present TGCT therapies. TGCTs contain undifferentiated pluripotent stem cells, known as embryonal carcinoma, that share many properties with human embryonic stem cells. The importance of cancer stem cells in the initiation, progression and treatment of solid tumors is beginning to emerge. We discuss TGCTs in the context of solid tumor curability and targeted cancer stem cell therapy.
Keywords: Cisplatin, cancer stem cell, chemosensitivity, embryonal carcinoma, Nanog, 04-Oct, self-renewa
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