open access

Vol 43, No 4 (2005)
Review paper
Published online: 2005-12-31
Submitted: 2011-12-19
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Cancer stem cells - normal stem cells "Jedi" that went over to the "dark side"

Mariusz Z. Ratajczak
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2005;43(4):115-121.

open access

Vol 43, No 4 (2005)
REVIEW
Published online: 2005-12-31
Submitted: 2011-12-19

Abstract

Evidence has accumulated that cancer develops from a population of quiescent tissue committed/pluripotent stem cells (TCSC/PSC) or cells developmentally closely related to them that are distributed in various organs. To support this notion, stem cells (SC) are long lived cells and thus may become the subject of accumulating mutations that are crucial for initiation/progression of cancer. More important, they may maintain these mutations and pass them to the daughter stem cells. Therefore, mutations that occur in normal SC, accumulate during the life of an organism at the clonal level in the stem cell compartment committed to a given tissue/organ. As a consequence, this may lead to the malignant transformation of SC and tumor initiation. Furthermore, many biological features of normal and cancer SC such as the physiological trafficking of normal and metastasis of cancer stem cells involve similar molecular mechanisms, and we discuss these similarities here. Therefore, looking both at the origin and behavioral aspects we can envision cancer SC being normal SC "Jedi" that went over to the "dark side".

Abstract

Evidence has accumulated that cancer develops from a population of quiescent tissue committed/pluripotent stem cells (TCSC/PSC) or cells developmentally closely related to them that are distributed in various organs. To support this notion, stem cells (SC) are long lived cells and thus may become the subject of accumulating mutations that are crucial for initiation/progression of cancer. More important, they may maintain these mutations and pass them to the daughter stem cells. Therefore, mutations that occur in normal SC, accumulate during the life of an organism at the clonal level in the stem cell compartment committed to a given tissue/organ. As a consequence, this may lead to the malignant transformation of SC and tumor initiation. Furthermore, many biological features of normal and cancer SC such as the physiological trafficking of normal and metastasis of cancer stem cells involve similar molecular mechanisms, and we discuss these similarities here. Therefore, looking both at the origin and behavioral aspects we can envision cancer SC being normal SC "Jedi" that went over to the "dark side".
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Keywords

Cancer stem cells; CXCR4; SDF-1; HGF/SF; LIF; Metastasis

About this article
Title

Cancer stem cells - normal stem cells "Jedi" that went over to the "dark side"

Journal

Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica

Issue

Vol 43, No 4 (2005)

Article type

Review paper

Pages

115-121

Published online

2005-12-31

Bibliographic record

Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2005;43(4):115-121.

Keywords

Cancer stem cells
CXCR4
SDF-1
HGF/SF
LIF
Metastasis

Authors

Mariusz Z. Ratajczak

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