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Nat Med DOI:10.1038/nm0909-1010

Cancer stem cells: mirage or reality?

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsGupta, PB, Chaffer, CL, Weinberg, RA
JournalNat Med
Date Published2009 Sep
KeywordsAnimals, Cell Differentiation, Humans, Models, Biological, Neoplasms, Neoplastic Stem Cells, Stem Cells

The similarities and differences between normal tissue stem cells and cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been the source of much contention, with some recent studies calling into question the very existence of CSCs. An examination of the literature indicates, however, that the CSC model rests on firm experimental foundations and that differences in the observed frequencies of CSCs within tumors reflect the various cancer types and hosts used to assay these cells. Studies of stem cells and the differentiation program termed the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) point to the possible existence of plasticity between stem cells and their more differentiated derivatives. If present, such plasticity would have major implications for the CSC model and for future therapeutic approaches.


Alternate JournalNat. Med.
PubMed ID19734877