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Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2009 Oct;6(10):580-6. doi: 10.1038/nrclinonc.2009.127. Epub 2009 Aug 18.

Role of cancer stem cells in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


As our understanding of pancreatic cancer evolves, evidence is growing to support a role for cancer stem cells in this devastating disease. Cancer stem cells constitute a distinct subpopulation in the tumor and are considered to drive both tumorigenesis and metastasis; these cells are thought to be highly resistant to standard treatment modalities. Here we review the current knowledge on pancreatic cancer stem cells and the implementation of cancer stem cell markers as prognostic or predictive biomarkers. We also discuss prospects for the use of cancer stem cells as targets for future therapeutic regimens in pancreatic cancer.

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