Principles of stem cell biology and cancer: future applications and therapeutics. Edited by T. Regad, T. J. Sayers and R. C. Rees. John Wiley & Sons (2015)

Part II. Cancer stem cells

Recent evidence suggests that various types of cancer, such as leukaemia and solid tumours, are composed of a rare subset of cells with stem cell-like properties, unlike bulk tumour cells, that are alone capable of initiating and sustaining tumours (Zeki et al., 2011). CRCSCs were initially identified as CD133+ in two separate studies in 2007. Only CD133+ cells were capable of initiating tumours and undergoing in vitro and in vivo passage: CD133cells did not form xenograft tumours. The CSC hypothesis suggests that, like adult colorectal tissues, colorectal tumours are hierarchically organized, with cells at various stages of differentiation, and rely on stem cell-like cells for long-term maintenance (O’Brien et al., 2007; Ricci-Vitiani et al., 2007).

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