Cancer stem cells (CSC’s) are subpopulations of cancer cells that can self-renew, generate diverse cells in the tumor mass, and sustain tumorigenesis. Cancer researchers hypothesizes that tumors arises from cancer stem cells that originate as a result of mutational hits on normal stem cells, by the transformation of restricted progenitor cells or even the differentiated cells that acquire self-renewing capacity. These cancer stem cells drive tumor progression and recurrence after chemotherapy treatments and have recently become targets for cancer stem cell therapies. Since both normal stem cells and cancer cells possess ability to self-renew, many pathways that are classically associated with cancer are also involved in the regulation of normal stem cell development including Notch, Wnt, Shh and classical pluripotency transcription factor pathways Oct-4, Sox-2 and Nanog.
- Targeting Cancer Stem Cells, Tumor Initiating Cells and the Stem Cell Niche
- CSCs’ Role in Cancer Recurrence and Metastasis