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Ai Zheng. 2006 Jun;25(6):779-84.

[Cancer initiating cell theory: popularity and controversies].

[Article in Chinese]

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery/Brain Tumor Research Laboratory, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, 215004, P. R. China.


The cancer stem cell model proposes that most tumors are derived from a single cell that is transformed into a cancer-initiating cell (cancer stem cell). Cancer stem cells have the capacity to proliferate, differentiate, and form tumors in vivo. However, the origin of cancer stem cells remains controversial. Normal stem cells are regarded as an ideal candidate for the origin of cancer stem cells when take similar characters and signaling pathways between them into consideration. In addition,cell fusion is an important physiologic process during development and tissue repair,and is closely related to several fundamental features of tumors,and thus could be involved in the development of cancer stem cells.

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