Oral squamous cell carcinoma is the most prevalent neoplasia of oral cavity. The comprehension of this neoplasia is limited regarding its origin and which cells are involved in tumor development and progression, becoming a challenge to the establishment of effective treatment and preventive strategies. In view of this, the identification of neoplastic cells subpopulations on oral squamous cell carcinoma that present the tendency to tumoral expansion, metastasis and alteration in cell death pathways is essential to treatment improvement and survival rates increase of oral squamous cell carcinoma patients. Recently, the discovery that head and neck squamous cell carcinoma comprise a subpopulation of tumoral initiators cells that apparently correspond to malignant stem cells responsible for tumor growth arose the hypothesis of new therapeutic perspectives, as well as the understanding of tumor development mechanisms. Regardless advances on stem cells research, there are few studies focused on the analysis of oral squamous cell carcinoma stem cells. The main purpose of the present study is the isolation and characterization of oral squamous cell carcinoma stem cells from established cell lines using specifics cell molecules. Additionally, it will be analyzed the gene expression profile of genes related to important cell signaling pathways and involved in the regulation of stem cells, and also, their functional hole in controlling essentials cellular processes to malignant transformation contributing to the comprehension of the events involved in the development and evolution of this tumor. Then, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches might become possible after the discovery of potential molecular targets of oral squamous cell carcinoma.
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