gms | German Medical Science

84th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

08.05. - 12.05.2013, Nürnberg

The SDF-1-CXCR4-axis – tracking cell traffic in the cancer stem cell niche of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author Anne Faber - HNO-Universitätsklinikum Mannheim, Mannheim, Deutschland
  • Ulrich R. Gößler - HNO Klinik, Mannheim
  • Karl Hörmann - HNO Klinik, Mannheim
  • Johannes D. Schultz - HNO Klinik, Mannheim
  • Jens Stern-Sträter - HNO Klinik, Mannheim

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie. 84. Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie. Nürnberg, 08.-12.05.2013. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2013. Doc13hnod230

doi: 10.3205/13hnod230, urn:nbn:de:0183-13hnod2308

Published: April 15, 2013

© 2013 Faber et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Antineoplastic treatments can eradicate a majority of proliferating malignant cells within tumors. However, there is increasing evidence that there is a subpopulation of resistant cells that cannot be reached by these regimens. These cancer stem cells (CSCs) have features of somatic stem cells such as selfrenewal, proliferation and differentiation. The so-called cancer stem cell niche-theory postulates, that the interaction between CSC and their surrounding cells is essential for tumor expansion and metastatic progress. The interaction between SDF-1 and CXCR4 may play an important role in this field.

Materials and methods: We have evaluated expression of CD44 and CXCR4 in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and in the HNSCC cell line UM-SCC 11A by immunofluorescence microscopy. We monitored proliferation, podia formation and migration of UM-SCC 11A under the influence of SDF-1.

Results and outlook: We could show that CD44 and CXCR4 are present in HNSCC tissue. CD44 shows a surface- and CXCR4 also a cytoplasmatic staining pattern. The expression of CD44 is high at the border of a tumor. CXCR4 is mainly expressed in tumor nests, not in the supportive cells surrounding the tumor. UM-SCC 11A presupposses being a target for SDF-1 by CXCR4-expression and also shows characteristics of HNSCC cancer stem cells by CD44-expression. We could demonstrate that SDF-1 is a chemoattractant for UM-SCC 11A. Changes of morphology by presenting podia were put in front of directed migration. Our result serve as preliminary work on our way of designing an in vitro model of the cancer stem cell niche in HNSCC. This model could offer options to directly observe interactions in this unit and further allocate a tool to apply potential therapeutic agents in HNSCC.

Unterstützt durch: Prof. Dr. med. Karl Hörmann

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