Journal article

Cancer Stem Cells: Current Status and Evolving Complexities

Jane E Visvader, Geoffrey J Lindeman

CELL STEM CELL | CELL PRESS | Published : 2012


The cancer stem cell (CSC) model has been established as a cellular mechanism that contributes to phenotypic and functional heterogeneity in diverse cancer types. Recent observations, however, have highlighted many complexities and challenges: the CSC phenotype can vary substantially between patients, tumors may harbor multiple phenotypically or genetically distinct CSCs, metastatic CSCs can evolve from primary CSCs, and tumor cells may undergo reversible phenotypic changes. Although the CSC concept will have clinical relevance in specific cases, accumulating evidence suggests that it will be imperative to target all CSC subsets within the tumor to prevent relapse.


Funding Acknowledgements

We apologize to those authors whose papers could not be cited due to space constraints. We thank P. Maltezos for expert help with the figures. This work was supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), NHMRC IRIISS, and the Victorian State Government through Victorian Cancer Agency funding of the Victorian Breast Cancer Research Consortium and OIS.