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Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis
SJR: 0.946 SNIP: 0.503 CiteScore™: 2

ISSN Druckformat: 0893-9675
ISSN Online: 2162-6448

Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevOncog.2018027353
pages 173-187

p53 and Cell Fate: Sensitizing Head and Neck Cancer Stem Cells to Chemotherapy

Christie Rodriguez-Ramirez
Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences, Endodontics, University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Jacques E. Nör
Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences, Endodontics, University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan College of Engineering, Ann Arbor, MI; Department of Otolaryngology, University of Michigan School of Medicine, Ann Arbor, MI; Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI


Head and neck cancers are deadly diseases that are diagnosed annually in approximately half a million individuals worldwide. Growing evidence supporting a role for cancer stem cells (CSCs) in the pathobiology of head and neck cancers has led to increasing interest in identifying therapeutics to target these cells. Apart from the canonical tumor-suppressor functions of p53, emerging research supports a significant role for this protein in physiological stem cell and CSC maintenance and reprogramming. Therefore, p53 has become a promising target to sensitize head and neck CSCs to chemotherapy. In this review, we highlight the role of p53 in stem cell maintenance and discuss potential implications of targeting p53 to treat patients with head and neck cancers.

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