Cellular Oncology

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 397–409

Interpretation of interlocking key issues of cancer stem cells in malignant solid tumors

Review

DOI: 10.1007/s13402-012-0110-8

Cite this article as:
Liu, W., You, N., Zhang, N. et al. Cell Oncol. (2012) 35: 397. doi:10.1007/s13402-012-0110-8
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Abstract

Objective

In this review, several interlinking issues related to cancer stem cells (CSCs) in malignant solid tumors are sequentially discussed.

Methods

A literature search was performed using PubMed, Web of Science and the Cochrane library, combining the words CSCs, solid tumor, isolation, identification, origination, therapy, target and epithelial–mesenchymal transition.

Results

Because a primary problem is the isolation of CSCs, we first analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of recently used methods, which were mostly based on the physical or immunochemical characteristics of CSCs. Once CSCs are isolated, they should be identified by their stem cell properties. Here, we suggest how to establish a standard identification strategy. We also focused on the origination hypotheses of CSCs. The supporting molecular mechanisms for each theory were thoroughly analyzed and integrated. Especially, epithelial– mesenchymal transition is an increasingly recognized mechanism to generate CSCs that are endowed with a more invasive and metastatic phenotype. Finally, we discuss putative strategies of eliminating CSCs as effective cancer therapies.

Conclusion

After several interlocking issues of CSCs are thoroughly clarified, these CSCs in solid malignant tumors may specifically be targeted, which raises a new hope for eliminating these tumors.

Keywords

Cancer stem cells (CSCs)IsolationIdentificationOriginTherapyHepatic cancer stem cells (HCSCs)

Abbreviations

CSCs

Cancer stem cells

DGC

Density-gradient centrifugation

EMT

Epithelial to mesenchymal transition

FACS

Fluorescent activated cells sorting

HCSCs

Hepatic cancer stem cells

HNSCs

Hepatic normal stem cells

NOD/SCID

Non-obese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency

NSCs

Normal stem cells

NSP

Non side population

SP

Side population

SP-HNCs

Side population of hepatic normal cells

SP-HCCs

Side population of hepatic cancer cells

TDDS

Targeting drug delivery systems

Copyright information

© International Society for Cellular Oncology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei-hui Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nan You
    • 2
  • Ning Zhang
    • 2
  • Hong-tao Yan
    • 1
  • Tao Wang
    • 1
  • Zhu Huang
    • 1
  • Hong-bao Liu
    • 3
  • Li-jun Tang
    • 1
  1. 1.PLA Center of General SurgeryGeneral Hospital of Chengdu Army RegionChengduChina
  2. 2.Department of Hepatobiliary SurgeryXijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical UniversityXi’anChina
  3. 3.Department of NephrologyXijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical UniversityXi’anChina