What is the role of CSCs in metastasis?
The CSC hypothesis has fundamental and profound implications for cancer therapies, as CSCs are believed to be more resistant to chemotherapy than more differentiated cancer cells. To directly target CSCs, it will be critical to identify novel and unique pathways that are active in this subset of tumor cells.
What is the function of cancer stem cells?
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have the ability to self-renew and differentiate to give rise to heterogeneous phenotype of the tumor cells. It is believed that these cells are involved in metastasis, recurrence and therapy resistance in various cancers.
Where do cancer stem cells come from?
An alternative theory for the origin of CSCs suggests that they arise from normal somatic cells which acquire stem-like characteristics and malignant behavior through genetic and/or heterotypic alterations. For example, cancer cells gain stem-like characteristics through epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT).
Are stem cells cancerous?
Stem cells survive much longer than ordinary cells, increasing the chance that they might accumulate genetic mutations. It might take only a few mutations for one cell to lose control over its self-renewal and growth and become the source of cancer.
What is the connection between stem cells and cancer?
The stem cell theory of cancer proposes that among all cancerous cells, a few act as stem cells that reproduce themselves and sustain the cancer, much like normal stem cells normally renew and sustain our organs and tissues.
Which type of disease is cancer?
Cancer is a genetic disease—that is, it is caused by changes to genes that control the way our cells function, especially how they grow and divide. Genetic changes that cause cancer can happen because: of errors that occur as cells divide.
Do cancer stem cells divide rapidly?
However, cancer stem cells do not divide rapidly, leading to a situation where most of a tumor, but not the cancer stem cells can be killed by chemotherapy or radiation. The cancer stem cell, still in the body, can survive and divide to create a whole new tumor (Fig 3, B).