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Biology of cancer and metastasis stem cells 

Biology of cancer and metastasis stem cells
Chapter:
Biology of cancer and metastasis stem cells
Author(s):

Andreas Trumpp

and Irène Baccelli

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199656103.003.0010
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date: 17 August 2019

Regenerative tissues such as the skin epidermis, the gastrointestinal mucosa, or the haematopoietic system are maintained by the activity of rare stem cells, which sit at the helm of the cellular hierarchy of these tissues. Moreover, in response to injury signals, the tissue stem cells are activated and become critical for tissue repair. In analogy to the normal situation, many haematopoietic malignancies and carcinomas are also hierarchically organized with a cancer stem cell (CSC) at the top which is responsible for tumour growth and progression. Dissemination of CSCs from the primary tumour into the blood circulation leads to colonization and metastasis formation in distant organs. CSCs show increased resistance to chemotherapy and radiation and surviving CSCs after therapy (minimal residual disease) are thought to be the cellular source for disease relapse and metastases. Targeting and elimination of the entire CSC pool is required for long-term cure from the disease.

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