Pancreatic Cancer (PDA) is an aggressive malignancy characterized by early spread and a high mortality. Current studies suggest that a subpopulation of cells exist within tumors, cancer stem cell (CSC), which are capable of self-renewal and give rise to unique progeny which form the major neoplastic cellular component of tumors. While CSCs constitute a small cellular subpopulation within the tumor, their resistance to chemotherapy and radiation make them an important therapeutic target for eradication. Along with distinctive phenotypic properties, CSCs possess a unique metabolic plasticity allowing them to rapidly respond and adapt to environmental changes. These cells and their progeny also display a significantly altered epigenetic state with distinctive patterns of DNA methylation. Several mechanisms of cross-talk between epigenetic and metabolic pathways in PDA exist which ultimately contribute to the observed cellular plasticity and enhanced tumorigenesis. In this review we discuss various examples of this metabolic-epigenetic interplay and how it may constitute a new avenue for therapy specifically targeting CSCs in PDA.
- Cancer stem cells
- Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition
- Pancreatic cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research