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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2004 Dec;16(6):708-12.

Cancer stem cell biology: from leukemia to solid tumors.

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  • 1Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Rochester School of Medicine, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 703, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.


The biology of stem cells and their intrinsic properties are now recognized as integral to tumor pathogenesis in several types of cancer. This observation has broad ramifications in the cancer research field and is likely to impact our understanding of the basic mechanisms of tumor formation and the strategies we use to treat cancers. A role for stem cells has been demonstrated for cancers of the hematopoietic system, breast and brain. Going forward it is likely that stem cells will also be implicated in other malignancies. Hence, a detailed understanding of stem cells and how they mediate tumor pathogenesis will be critical in developing more effective cancer therapies.

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