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Cancer Stem Cells: Controversial or Just Misunderstood?

James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, University of Rochester, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 704, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.
Cell stem cell (Impact Factor: 22.15). 04/2009; 4(3):203-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2009.02.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT While a broad range of expertise has recently come to bear on the intriguing topic of "cancer stem cells," the overall relevance of stem cells as they relate to cancer remains in dispute. In this commentary, underlying points of contention are described with the aim of defining focal points for discussion and future consideration.

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    • "The original cancer stem cell model suggested that CSC represent a subset of cancer cells population which is well distinguishable by a limited number of cell-surface markers. During the time, many controversial issues regarding their origin , proportions in cancer cells population, heterogeneity , flexibility of their state, etc. have emerged [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] and the existence and role of CSC in cancer initiation and progression remain a topic of intense debate [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45]. Accordingly to Badve and Nakshatri [46], CSC should be viewed as representing an aggressive clone that has evolved during tumor progression , concluding that referring to these cells as CSC is, actually, a matter of semantics. "
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    • "In recent years, the cancer stem cell (CSC) hypothesis suggested that GBMs are mainly fueled by identifiable subpopulation of glioma stemlike cell (GSCs) with unlimited capacity for self-renewal, and effective therapeutic targeting of these CSCs might eradicate the capacity for prolonged tumor growth (Mao et al. 2009b; Singh et al. 2004). At present, the identity of GSCs is still ambiguous, probably due to inconsistent definitions from different groups, and the fact that GBMs are markedly interand intratumoral heterogeneous (Jordan 2009). For example, stem cell markers CD133 and CD15 are commonly used to identify GSCs (Mao et al. 2009a; Singh et al. 2004; Son et al. 2009). "
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    Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology 06/2013; 33(6). DOI:10.1007/s10571-013-9951-6 · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    • "Finally, CSC nomenclature was adopted from normal tissue stem cells to describe the abilities required for maintaining tumor growth: self-renewal and giving rise to other tumor cells. The CSC concept and properties are frequently confused with the concept and properties of normal tissue stem cells (Jordan, 2009). The hierarchy of normal tissue stem cells is well defined and conserved. "
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