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Cell Cycle. 2008 Dec;7(23):3622-4. Epub 2008 Dec 2.

Stemness, cancer and cancer stem cells.

Author information

1
Program in Epithelial Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Abstract

The ability of cancers to grow indefinitely has fueled the idea that cancer and stem cells may have common underlying mechanisms. Detailed gene expression maps have now shown the diversity and distinctiveness in gene expression programs associated with stemness in embryonic and adult stem cells. These maps have further revealed a shared transcriptional program in embryonic stem cells (ESC) and cancer stem cells. Surprisingly, forced activation of an ESC-like gene expression program in adult epithelial cells can reprogram them into human cancer stem cells and achieve pathologic self-renewal. The ability to create induced cancer stem cells (iCSC) may provide opportunities to better define the biology of cancer stem cells in order to trace or eliminate them in human patients.

PMID:
19029796
DOI:
10.4161/cc.7.23.7104
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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