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Oncogene. 2010 Aug 19;29(33):4625-35. doi: 10.1038/onc.2010.207. Epub 2010 Jun 7.

Lung cancer stem cells: tools and targets to fight lung cancer.

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Department of Hematology, Oncology and Molecular Medicine, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, Rome, Italy.


Cancer stem cell (CSC) theory states that tumors are organized in a similar hierarchical manner as normal tissues, with a sub-population of tumorigenic stem-like cells that generate the more differentiated nontumorigenic tumor cells. CSCs are chemoresistant and seem to be responsible for tumor recurrence and formation of metastases. Therefore, the study of these cells may lead to crucial advances in the understanding of tumor biology as well as to innovative and more effective therapies. Lung cancer represents the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Despite improvements in medical and surgical management, patient survival rates remain stable at approximately 15%, calling for innovative strategies that may contribute to improve patient outcome. The discovery of lung CSCs and the possibility to characterize their biological properties may provide powerful translational tools to improve the clinical outcome of patients with lung cancer. In this report, we review what is known about lung CSCs and discuss the diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic prospective of these findings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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