Cancer Stem Cells

  • Murali M. S. Balla
  • Anjali P. Kusumbe
  • Geeta K. Vemuganti
  • Sharmila A. Bapat


Our knowledge of carcinogenesis has tremendously improved through decades of research. However, till date the therapeutic refractoriness and tumor dormancy that leads to cancer recurrence after therapy presents formidable obstacles through severely limiting the successful treatment outcomes for majority of cancers. Significant advances made recently in the cancer stem cell (CSC) biology field have provided new insights into cancer biology that are radically changing both our understanding of carcinogenesis and cancer treatment. The cancer stem cell hypothesis provides an attractive cellular mechanism to account for the therapeutic refractoriness and dormant behavior exhibited by many of these tumors. Direct evidence for the CSC hypothesis has recently emerged through their identification and isolation in diverse tumor types. These tumor types appeared to be hierarchically organized and sustained by a distinct fraction of self-renewing and tumor-initiating CSCs. Such illustration of the CSC paradigm in diverse tumor types necessitates reassessment and improvisation of the current therapeutic strategies originally developed against the homogenous tumor mass; now to specifically target the CSC population. Preliminary findings in the field indicate that such specific targeting of CSCs may be possible.


Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cancer Stem Cell Cancer Stem Cell Marker Cancer Stem Cell Population Cancer Stem Cell Hypothesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Cancer stem cells


Normal stem cells, HSCs, Hematopoetic stem cells




Label retaining cells


Epithelial to mesenchymal transition


Non-obese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient


Side population


Multidrug resistance



We thank Dr. G.C. Mishra, Director, National Center for Cell Science (Pune, India) for encouragement and support. We thank Dr. Santosh Honavar and team for providing clinical samples for Retinoblastoma work. We also acknowledge the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the copyright holder of Figs. 15.3 and 15.4 for permitting use of these figures


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Murali M. S. Balla
    • 1
  • Anjali P. Kusumbe
    • 2
  • Geeta K. Vemuganti
    • 3
  • Sharmila A. Bapat
    • 4
  1. 1.Champalimaud Translational Centre for Eye Research, Hyderabad Eye Research FoundationL.V. Prasad Eye InstituteHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.National Centre for Cell SciencePuneIndia
  3. 3.School of Medical SciencesUniversity of HyderabadGachibowli, HyderabadIndia
  4. 4.National Centre for Cell SciencePuneIndia

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