Research progress of cancer stem cells and IL-6/STAT3 signaling pathway in esophageal adenocarcinoma

Mei Chen, Xiaojun Ye, Ruihua Wang, Karen Poon


Esophageal epithelial malignancy can be divided into esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and adenocarcinoma (EAC). EAC is currently the seventh leading cause of death in US. Although ESCC occurs frequently in China and the population of EAC is mostly distributed in the western countries, with the change of lifestyle, diabetes, smoking, gastroesophageal exhalation disease, Barrett’s esophagus (BE) and obesity have been confirmed as high-risk factors of EAC. The number of those high-risk groups in China is increasing, and the incidence of EAC in China is likely to increase in the future. At present, there is no clear epidemiological data of EAC in China. Attention should be paid to the pathogenesis, treatment plan and prognosis of EAC. In 2018, updated epidemiological data from the national institutes of health showed that the mortality rate of EAC patients diagnosed between 1975 and 2015 was as high as 91.6%. Currently, it is believed that the causes of poor prognosis, low survival rate, recurrence, metastasis, chemotherapy resistance and radiation resistance of malignant tumors may be closely related to the existence of cancer stem cells (CSCs). This paper reviews the source of BE, the CSC markers of EAC, the correlation among bile acid, IL-6/STAT3 signaling pathway and EAC, as well as the possible source of CSCs.