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The cancer stem cell niche in ovarian cancer and its impact on immune surveillance

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Ovarian cancer is an aggressive gynaecological cancer with extremely poor prognosis, due to late diagnosis as well as the development of chemoresistance after first-line therapy. Research advances have found stem-like cells present in ovarian tumours, which exist in a dynamic niche and persist through therapy. The stem cell niche interacts extensively with the immune and non-immune components of the tumour microenvironment. Significant pathways associated with the cancer stem cell niche have been identified which interfere with the immune component of the tumour microenvironment, leading to immune surveillance evasion, dysfunction and suppression. This review aims to summarise current evidence-based knowledge on the cancer stem cell niche within the ovarian cancer tumour microenvironment and its effect on immune surveillance. Furthermore, the review seeks to understand the clinical consequences of this dynamic interaction by highlighting current therapies which target these processes.


Science Foundation Ireland strategic partnership programme, Precision Oncology Ireland, grant code (18/SPP/352)



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Published Citation

Jain S, Annett SL, Morgan MP, Robson T. The cancer stem cell niche in ovarian cancer and its impact on immune surveillance. Int J Mol Sci. 2021;22(8):4091.

Publication Date

15 April 2021

PubMed ID



  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

Research Area

  • Vascular Biology
  • Immunity, Infection and Inflammation
  • Cancer
  • Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine
  • Health Professions Education




  • Published Version (Version of Record)