World J Stem Cells 2021 Jul;13(7):685-736
Department of Applied Clinical and Biotechnological Sciences, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila 67100, AQ, Italy.
Pediatric neuroblastomas (NBs) are heterogeneous, aggressive, therapy-resistant embryonal tumours that originate from cells of neural crest (NC) origin and in particular neuroblasts committed to the sympathoadrenal progenitor cell lineage. Therapeutic resistance, post-therapeutic relapse and subsequent metastatic NB progression are driven primarily by cancer stem cell (CSC)-like subpopulations, which through their self-renewing capacity, intermittent and slow cell cycles, drug-resistant and reversibly adaptive plastic phenotypes, represent the most important obstacle to improving therapeutic outcomes in unfavourable NBs. In this review, dedicated to NB CSCs and the prospects for their therapeutic eradication, we initiate with brief descriptions of the unique transient vertebrate embryonic NC structure and salient molecular protagonists involved NC induction, specification, epithelial to mesenchymal transition and migratory behaviour, in order to familiarise the reader with the embryonic cellular and molecular origins and background to NB. Read More