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Cell. 2009 Sep 4;138(5):822-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.08.017.

Heterogeneity in cancer: cancer stem cells versus clonal evolution.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Life Sciences Institute, Center for Stem Cell Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


The identification and characterization of cancer stem cells might lead to more effective treatments for some cancers by focusing therapy on the most malignant cells. To achieve this goal it will be necessary to determine which cancers follow a cancer stem cell model and which do not, to address technical issues related to tumorigenesis assays, and to test the extent to which cancer cell heterogeneity arises from genetic versus epigenetic differences.

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