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Semin Cancer Biol. 2019 Sep 12. pii: S1044-579X(19)30264-0. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2019.09.007. [Epub ahead of print]

Cancer stem cells and their unique role in metastatic spread.

Author information

1
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.
2
Department of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria; EXTRO-Lab, Tyrolean Cancer Research Institute, Innsbruck, Austria.
3
Department of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria; EXTRO-Lab, Tyrolean Cancer Research Institute, Innsbruck, Austria. Electronic address: Ira.Skvortsova@i-med.ac.at.

Abstract

Cancer stem cells (CSC) possess abilities generally associated with embryonic or adult stem cells, especially self-renewal and differentiation, but also dormancy and cellular plasticity that allow adaption to new environmental circumstances. These abilities are ideal prerequisites for the successful establishment of metastasis. This review highlights the role of CSCs in every step of the metastatic cascade from cancer cell invasion into blood vessels, survival in the blood stream, attachment and extravasation as well as colonization of the host organ and subsequent establishment of distant macrometastasis.

KEYWORDS:

Angiogenesis; Dormancy; EMT; Invasion; Migration; Stem cell niche

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