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Oncogene. 2011 Mar 17;30(11):1261-71. doi: 10.1038/onc.2010.530. Epub 2010 Nov 29.

Revisiting the concept of cancer stem cells in prostate cancer.

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Department of Medicine, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.


The cancer stem cell (CSC) model proposes that cells within a tumor are organized in a hierarchical lineage relationship and display different tumorigenic potential, suggesting that effective therapeutics should target rare CSCs that sustain tumor malignancy. Here we review the current status of studies to identify CSCs in human prostate cancer as well as mouse models, with an emphasis on discussing different functional assays and their advantages and limitations. We also describe current controversies regarding the identification of prostate epithelial stem cells and cell types of origin for prostate cancer, and present potential resolutions of these issues. Although definitive evidence for the existence of CSCs in prostate cancer is still lacking, future directions pursuing the identification of tumor-initiating stem cells in the mouse may provide important advances in evaluating the CSC model for prostate cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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