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Nat Med. 2011 Mar;17(3):313-9. doi: 10.1038/nm.2304.

The cancer stem cell: premises, promises and challenges.

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  • 1Hubrecht Institute, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands. h.clevers@hubrecht.eu


Over the last decade, the notion that tumors are maintained by their own stem cells, the so-called cancer stem cells, has created great excitement in the research community. This review attempts to summarize the underlying concepts of this notion, to distinguish hard facts from beliefs and to define the future challenges of the field.

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