Laboratory translational research - with main focus on pediatric oncology - in close cooperation with clinicians and pathologists represents an important approach bringing new information concerning tumor biology from bench to bedside. This strategy encompasses especially the identification of activated signaling molecules within tumors that can be targeted by specific low-molecular-weight inhibitors. In addition to this, our research is also aimed at investigation of cancer stem cell phenotype in relation to the tumorigenicity and resistance to the conventional therapy.
Our previous research projects were focused on apoptosis accompanying retinoid-induced differentiation of cancer cells and we also described the mechanisms how to enhance the retinoid-induced cell differentiation of cell lines derived from pediatric solid tumors by inhibitors of lipoxygenases and cyclooxygenases. We also accomplished other studies on the expression of cancer stem cell markers in neurogenic tumors and in sarcomas. The most important results of this research concern the identification of cells displaying CD133/nestin phenotype in pediatric sarcomas, the detailed morphological analyses of the atypical subcellular localization of these two most important CSCs markers – CD133 and nestin – in neurogenic tumors and sarcomas, and especially the association of the Sox2 expression with tumorigenicity in sarcoma cells.