Therapeutic implications of the cancer stem cell hypothesis.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University, School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.
Seminars in radiation oncology (Impact Factor: 3.77). 05/2009; 19(2):78-86. DOI: 10.1016/j.semradonc.2008.11.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A growing body of evidence indicates that subpopulations of cancer stem cells (CSCs) drive and maintain many types of human malignancies. These findings have important implications for the development and evaluation of oncologic therapies and present opportunities for potential gains in patient outcome. The existence of CSCs mandates careful analysis and comparison of normal tissue stem cells and CSCs to identify differences between the two cell types. The development of CSC-targeted treatments will face a number of potential hurdles, including normal stem cell toxicity and the acquisition of treatment resistance, which must be considered in order to maximize the chance that such therapies will be successful.

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