Department of Cancer Biology
Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences
Long-lived cancer stem cells (CSCs) with indefinite proliferative potential have been identified in multiple epithelial cancer types. These cells are likely derived from transformed adult stem cells and are thought to share many characteristics with their parental population, including a quiescent slow-cycling phenotype. Various label-retaining techniques have been used to identify normal slow cycling adult stem cell populations and offer a unique methodology to functionally identify and isolate cancer stem cells. The quiescent nature of CSCs represents an inherent mechanism that at least partially explains chemotherapy resistance and recurrence in posttherapy cancer patients. Isolating and understanding the cell cycle regulatory mechanisms of quiescent cancer cells will be a key component to creation of future therapies that better target CSCs and totally eradicate tumors. Here we review the evidence for quiescent CSC populations and explore potential cell cycle regulators that may serve as future targets for elimination of these cells.
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Citation: J Oncol. 2011;2011. pii: 396076. Epub 2010 Sep 29. Link to article on publisher's site