A Review on the Biology of Cancer Stem Cells


Cancer Stem Cells (CSC) have the ability to self-renew and are present in most tissues including breast, brain, lung, prostates, testis, ovary, esophagus, colon, and liver. Their origin is yet to be discovered, though a series of hypotheses have been proposed in this regard. CSCs play a role in not only the creation of cancer, but also in its evolution, metastasis, and recurrence. CSCs have an important role in cancer therapy and the resistance towards chemotherapeutic agents. This article reviews the characteristics of cancer stem cells in terms of origin, resistance towards chemotherapy, methods of isolation, and cancer therapy.

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Atena, M. , Reza, A. and Mehran, G. (2014) A Review on the Biology of Cancer Stem Cells. Stem Cell Discovery, 4, 83-89. doi: 10.4236/scd.2014.44009.

2. Conclusion

In spite of all the analyses and studies on CSCs, all strategies of its treatment are under-test theories. The works published so far have not found a way to overcome resistance to chemotherapy, while it seems that CSC is a significant factor. If we come to this conclusion that CSCs are a key molecule in response to resistance towards chemotherapy, the immediate need for an increase in clinical and laboratory studies is supporting biologic treatments. Absolute understanding of tumor biology and investigations into the true role of cancer stem cells to tumor heterogeneity have so far largely been disadvantaged by the lack of dependable and advanced experimental Systems. There is hope that related studies can tell us further on the functional properties of cancer stem cells.


*Corresponding author.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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