A model of chemoresistance and associated recurrence in ovarian cancer. Adapted from Googleimages, Wisegeek.com. At diagnosis, majority of the ovarian cancer patients present with high-grade tumors and associated ascites which contains tumor cells as well as CSCs. After the first line of ‘traditional chemotherapy’ treatment majority of the tumor cells are eradicated leaving behind residual tumors which mainly consist of chemoresistant CSCs with enhanced level of phosphorylated JAK2/STAT3. These patients are in remission for 6–22 months. At recurrence, patients present with larger tumor burden which has increased numbers of CSCs. Under the current treatment protocol most patients are treated with subsequent lines of chemotherapy (which differs in patients), resulting in successive recurrences which ultimately leads to patient mortality. However, if the patients are treated with ‘traditional chemotherapy’ in combination with JAK2/STAT3 inhibitors, this will eradicate CSCs during the first line of treatment, and/or subsequent lines of treatments. This consequently may result in decreased tumor burden with increased disease free survival period and better treatment outcomes.
Abubaker et al. BMC Cancer 2014 14:317 doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-317