Mesenchymal stem cells expressing GD2 and CD271 correlate with breast cancer-initiating cells in bone marrow

Ugo De Giorgi*, Evan N. Cohen, Hui Gao, Michal Mego, Bang Ning Lee, Ashutosh Lodhi, Massimo Cristofanilli, Anthony Lucci, James M. Reuben

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: The bone marrow microenvironment is considered a critical component in the dissemination and fate of cancer cells in the metastatic process. We explored the possible correlation between bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSC) and disseminated breast cancer-initiating cells (BCIC) in primary breast cancer patients. Results: The percentages of BCIC (Aldefluor +CD326+CD44+CD24-) correlated with the percentages of BM-MSC, either CD45-GD2+CD200 +CD271+ (Kedall's τ = 0.684, p = 0.004) or CD45 -GD2+CD271+ in the bone marrow (Kedall's τ = 0.464, p = 0.042). Experimental Design: Bone marrow mononuclear cells (BM-MNC) were collected at the time of primary surgery in 12 breast cancer patients. BM-MNC was immunophenotyped and BCIC was defined as epithelial cells (CD326 +CD45-) with a "stem-like" phenotype (CD44 +CD24low/-, ALDH activity). BM-MSC was defined as CD34-CD45- cells that co-expressed GD2, CD271 and/or CD200 within CD326-depleted BM-MNC. Conclusions: There was a positive correlation between mesenchymal stem cells expressing GD2 and CD271 and breast cancer-initiating cells in BM of patients with primary breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)812-815
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Biology and Therapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2011


  • Bone marrow
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Cancer-initiating cells
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology


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