Stem Cells: The Real Culprits in Cancer?

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.
Scientific American (Impact Factor: 1.07). 08/2006; 295(1):52-9. DOI: 10.1038/scientificamerican0706-52
Source: PubMed


A dark side of stem cells—their potential to turn malignant—is at the root of a handful of cancers and may be the cause of many more. Eliminating the disease could depend on tracking down and destroying these elusive killer cells

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    • "The immunostaining results were semi-quantitatively measured and using the results of the statistical analysis a significant correlation between the number of S100A4-positive cells and the histopathological grade of the tumour. It has been widely hypothesised recently that this cellular diversity or heterogeneity within the tumour could be a result of small population of cancer stem cells or cancerinitiating cells (CICs) [44] [45] [46] [47]. If, following further validation, the findings were found to hold true and the aggressiveness of the cancer along with the chances of detecting positive lymph nodes earlier could be tested through the immunoassay staining for presence of S100A4 protein, the assay could be translated to a more automated method of staining evaluation , e.g. "
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    ABSTRACT: MS-based proteomic methods were utilised for the first time in the discovery of novel penile cancer biomarkers. MALDI MS imaging was used to obtain the in situ biomolecular MS profile of squamous cell carcinoma of the penis which was then compared to benign epithelial MS profiles. Spectra from cancerous and benign tissue areas were examined to identify MS peaks that best distinguished normal epithelial cells from invasive squamous epithelial cells, providing crucial evidence to suggest S100A4 to be differentially expressed. Verification by immunohistochemistry resulted in positive staining for S100A4 in a sub-population of invasive but not benign epithelial cells.
    EuPA Open Proteomics 02/2015; 27. DOI:10.1016/j.euprot.2015.02.001
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    • "Further on, metastasis process occurs that according to clonal theory involve invasion and angiogenesis , migration and arrest in the capillary beds of distant organs. lls are based on this theory [6]. According to this model, tumour is induced after multiple mutations occur in a random single cell, conferring it a selective growth advantage over adjacent normal cells [3]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the abundance of attention that cancer has attracted, it continues to constitute one of the deadliest scourges of the modern era. Tumour heterogeneity greatly contributes to the ineffectiveness of current therapies and hampers the study and treatment of cancer. There are two models accounting for tumour heterogeneity and propagation, namely clonal evolution model and cancer stem cell model. In particular, cancer stem theory has attracted much attention lately, as these cells with self-renewal and differentiation abilities are responsible for the initiation of tumour development, growth, and its ability to metastasize and reoccur, and provide a reasonable explanation for poor prognosis for patients in advanced stages of solid tumours. Advances in technologies such as proteomics open new avenues in metastasis research by specifically revealing complex protein networks involved in tumour progression, which should facilitate early diagnosis and provide the basis for designing more effective treatment strategies.
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    • "As the cells differentiate and give rise to mature cells of a given tissue or organ, the progenitor cells lose their ability to self-renew. The decrease in the number of cell divisions probably results from loss of telomerase activity (Clarke and Fuller 2006). The self-renewal process may be disturbed by alterations of asymmetric division control. "
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    ABSTRACT: The cancer stem cell theory elucidates not only the issue of tumour initiation and development, tumour's ability to metastasise and reoccur, but also the ineffectiveness of conventional cancer therapy. This review examines stem cell properties, such as self-renewal, heterogeneity, and resistance to apoptosis. The 'niche' hypothesis is presented, and mechanisms of division, differentiation, self-renewal and signalling pathway regulation are explained. Epigenetic alterations and mutations of genes responsible for signal transmission may promote the formation of cancer stem cells. We also present the history of development of the cancer stem cell theory and discuss the experiments that led to the discovery and confirmation of the existence of cancer stem cells. Potential clinical applications are also considered, including therapeutic models aimed at selective elimination of cancer stem cells or induction of their proper differentiation.
    Journal of applied genetics 02/2008; 49(2):193-9. DOI:10.1007/BF03195612 · 1.48 Impact Factor
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