Current status and issues in cancer stem cell study

Y M Yang, J W Chang
Cancer Investigation 2008, 26 (7): 741-55
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been positively identified and successfully isolated from some but not all cancers. The studies on CSCs to date suggest that these cells are rare among the tumor cell population, and they are capable of self-renewing and maintaining tumor growth and heterogeneity. Therapies aimed at CSCs have shown some promise, but their further development will require a more thorough understanding of the biology of CSCs and methods for identifying and isolating this cell subpopulation. This review examines what is known to date regarding the similarities and differences between cancer and somatic stem cells: CSC surface marker development and cell isolation (including a model isolation from our lab), the frequency, potential origin, and signal transduction of CSCs, and the current state of CSC-targeting therapeutic strategies.

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