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Medulloblastoma cancer stem cells: molecular signatures and therapeutic targets
  1. Hisham F Bahmad1,2,
  2. Robert J Poppiti1,3
  1. 1 Arkadi M Rywlin MD Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, Florida, USA
  2. 2 Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
  3. 3 Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Robert J Poppiti, Arkadi M. Rywlin M.D. Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach FL 33140, USA; Robert.Poppiti{at}


Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant primary intracranial neoplasm diagnosed in childhood. Although numerous efforts have been made during the past few years to exploit novel targeted therapies for this aggressive neoplasm, there still exist substantial hitches hindering successful management of MB. Lately, progress in cancer biology has shown evidence that a subpopulation of cells within the tumour, namely cancer stem cells (CSCs), are thought to be responsible for the resistance to most chemotherapeutic agents and radiation therapy, accounting for cancer recurrence. Hence, it is crucial to identify the molecular signatures and genetic aberrations that characterise those CSCs and develop therapies that specifically target them. In this review, we aim to give an overview of the main genetic and molecular cues that depict MB-CSCs and provide a synopsis of the novel therapeutic approaches that specifically target this population of cells to attain enhanced antitumorous effects and therefore overcome resistance to therapy.

  • molecular pathology
  • molecular oncology
  • brain tumours
  • genetics

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  • Handling editor Dhirendra Govender.

  • Contributors HFB worked on the review conception and design. HFB screened titles for relevance, abstracted the data from eligible full-text articles, analysed and interpreted the data, and drafted the manuscript. RJP critically revised the manuscript. Both authors have read and approved the final draft.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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