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Cancer recurrence is the main cause of chemotherapeutic treatment failure. The mechanisms driving cancer recurrence may be due to very rare subpopulation cells, cancer stem-like cells (CSCs). Therefore, the early detection and better treatment of cancer stem-like cells are of great interest. In this study, we investigated how to eliminate the side population cells (SP), which have the characteristics of cancer stem-like cells, and also show chemotherapy resistance. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) were used to sort SP and non-SP cells from human liver cancers, Huh-7 Hyaluronic acid (HA), which is an abundant component in the extracellular matrix, is known to involve in proliferation of normal and cancer cells. Herein, we investigated the effect of HA component on chemotherapy against SP cells. Cell growth inhibitory effects of the paclitaxel (PTX) chemotherapy combined with the HA component on SP cells of Huh-7 was determined using the trypan blue dye exclusion test. PTX combined with HA was found to show more increased inhibition of cell growth in both SP and non-SP cells, compared to free PTX treatment. In conclusion, SP cells of Huh-7 shows chemotherapeutic drug resistance due to the over-expressed efflux pumps. HA proposed one of possibilities to overcome the limitation of chemotherapy against cancer stem-like cells.


Hohyeon Lee, Jong Bin Kim, Seo Young Park, Soo-Shin Kim, Hyuncheol Kim. Combination effect of paclitaxel and hyaluronic acid on cancer stem-like side population cells. Journal of biomedical nanotechnology. 2013 Feb;9(2):299-302

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PMID: 23627059

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