Introduction to Brain Tumor Stem Cells
- Additional Document Info
- View All
From stem cells, to the cancer stem cell hypothesis and intratumoral heterogeneity, the following introductory chapter on brain tumor stem cells explores the history of normal and cancerous stem cells, and their implication in the current model of brain tumor development. The origins of stem cells date back to the 1960s, when they were first described as cells capable of self-renewal, extensive proliferation, and differentiation. Since then, many advances have been made and adult stem cells are now known to be present in a very wide variety of tissues. Neural stem cells were subsequently discovered 30 years later, which was shortly followed by the discovery of cancer stem cells in leukemia and in brain tumors over the next decade, effectively enabling a new understanding of cancer. Since then, many markers including CD133, brain cancer stem cells have been implicated in a variety of phenomena including intratumoral heterogeneity on the genomic, cellular, and functional levels, tumor initiation, chemotherapy-resistance, radiation-resistance, and are believed to be ultimately responsible for tumor relapse. Understanding this small and rare population of cells could be the key to solving the great enigma that is cancer.
has subject area