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Nat Rev Cancer. 2014 Jul;14(7):468-80. doi: 10.1038/nrc3744. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

Stem cell dynamics in homeostasis and cancer of the intestine.

Author information

1] Laboratory for Experimental Oncology and Radiobiology, Center for Experimental Molecular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. [2] Cancer Research UK - Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, Robinson Way, CB2 0RE, Cambridge, UK.
Molecular Cancer Research and Cancer Genomics Netherlands, Center for Molecular Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht, Universiteitsweg 100, 3584 CG Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Intestinal stem cells (ISCs) and colorectal cancer (CRC) biology are tightly linked in many aspects. It is generally thought that ISCs are the cells of origin for a large proportion of CRCs and crucial ISC-associated signalling pathways are often affected in CRCs. Moreover, CRCs are thought to retain a cellular hierarchy that is reminiscent of the intestinal epithelium. Recent studies offer quantitative insights into the dynamics of ISC behaviour that govern homeostasis and thereby provide the necessary baseline parameters to begin to apply these analyses during the various stages of tumour development.

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