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Minerva Urol Nefrol. 2012 Mar;64(1):19-33.

Prostate cancer stem cell biology.

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Department of Urology and Pathology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


The cancer stem cell (CSC) model provides insights into pathophysiology of cancers and their therapeutic response. The CSC model has been both controversial, yet provides a foundation to explore cancer biology. In this review, we provide an overview of CSC concepts, biology and potential therapeutic avenues. We then focus on prostate CSC including 1) their purported origin as either basal-derived or luminal-derived cells; 2) markers used for prostate CSC identification; 3) alterations of signaling pathways in prostate CSCs; 4) involvement of prostate CSCs in metastasis of PCa; and 5) microRNA-mediated regulation of prostate CSCs. Although definitive evidence for the identification and characterization of prostate CSCs still remains unclear, future directions pursuing therapeutic targets of CSCs may provide novel insights for the treatment of PCa.

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