Oral epithelial stem cells - implications for novel therapeutic approaches
Oral mucosa has a remarkable regenerative potential. There is a need for a better characterization of the oral stem cells in particularly of their cell behavior, tissue-specific regenerative potential and involvement in carcinogenesis. Oral cavity-derived cancers are the most prevalent epithelial tumors of the head and neck region, marked by their aggressiveness and invasiveness. Our project will identify differences and similarities between adult pluripotent epithelial stem cells from the oral cavity and compare them with oral cancer stem cells, non stem cell cancer cells, and normal differentiated oral cells. We shall use metabolomics, genomics and proteomics analysis and correlative analysis. These studies will improve our understanding of human adult epithelial stem cells in the oral cavity and will identify unique characteristics of the oral cancer stem cells with critical implications for therapy and regenerative medicine.