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Epithelial stem cells in human prostate growth and disease.

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Bob Champion Prostate Stem Cell Laboratory, Male Urological Cancer Research Centre, Institute of Cancer Research, 15 Cotswold Road, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5NG, UK.


Benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer arise as a consequence of changes in the balance between cell division and differentiation. Little, however, is known about the control of this process. Stem cells are a small population of cells that divide occasionally to produce transit-amplifying cells that in turn produce the differentiated cell types of the tissue. It is believed that cancer cell proliferation is also driven by stem cells. We have shown that around one in 200 prostate epithelial cells have characteristics of stem cells and that these cells are contained within a population with a distinct keratin expression pattern. Work is now ongoing to identify markers for these cells that will allow us to study the role they play in prostatic disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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