Cancer stem cells are cancer cells that possess characteristics associated with normal stem cells, specifically the ability to give rise to all cell types found in a particular cancer sample. CSCs are therefore tumorigenic , perhaps in contrast to other non-tumorigenic cancer cells. CSCs may generate tumours through the stem cell processes of self-renewal and differentiation into multiple cell types. Such cells are hypothesized to persist in tumours as a distinct population and cause relapse and metastasis by giving rise to new tumours. Therefore, development of specific therapies targeted at CSCs holds hope for improvement of survival and quality of life of cancer patients, especially for patients with metastatic disease.
- Oncogenes and tumor suppressors
- Tumor invasion and metastasis