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Rev Invest Clin. 2011 Mar-Apr;63(2):179-86.

Cancer stem cells.

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Unidad de Genómica Funcional del Cáncer, Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Col. Ex-Rancho de Anzaldo, Mexico.


There are two hypotheses that explain tumor progression. The first one, the stochastic hypothesis, assumes that any cell within a tumor has the capacity to form and maintain the tumor mass. The second, the so-called hierarchical hypothesis, suggests the existence of a group of cells with a stem phenotype which, like in normal tissues, preserves tumors through a continuous production of progeny. These stem cells are in a particular niche, have a higher resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and are also capable of invading and migrating to other tissues. This review describes the cancer stem cells (CSCs), their function inside a tumor and the current knowledge about these cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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