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Part of the book series: SpringerBriefs in Stem Cells ((BRIEFSSTEM))

Abstract

Nowadays, the definition “cancer stem cells” (CSCs) is widely accepted in the science community. Although, some authors think that this is a new definition in biology, the idea of CSCs has existed for more than 50 years. In recent years, the relations between “stem cells” and “cancer stem cells” gradually explored. Almost studies showed that cancer stem cells could be produced from stem cells with some specific mutations in the genome. However, CSCs also were produced by some other ways that did not directly related to stem cells. This chapter summarized characteristics of CSCs as well as their origins. The relationship between stem cells and CSCs was identified gradually. CSCs can be derived from both stem cells and non-stem cells. Therefore, it is essential to understand CSCs as cell population exhibiting stemness and high tumorigenesis. CSCs are present in almost all cancer cell lines, including breast cancer cell lines. These cells are formed directly from mutated stem cells or indirectly from cancer cells. Dysregulation of the self-renewal mechanism of stem cells can result in the formation of CSCs having a high tumorigenic capacity. Cancer cells that change gene expression by their self-renewal can also acquire stemness.

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Van Pham, P. (2015). Stem Cells and Cancer Stem Cells. In: Breast Cancer Stem Cells & Therapy Resistance. SpringerBriefs in Stem Cells. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-22020-8_2

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