Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Stem-Like Cancer Cells

  • Dean G. Tang
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_5495-2



Cancer stem cells (CSC) are functional rather than having a fixed definition. The least stringent definition would be that the prospectively purified CSC population is more tumorigenic than the bulk or the marker-negative tumor cell population(s) in a suitable tumor development assay. Using the most stringent definition, a cancer stem cell should be a cell that, at the single-cell level, can reconstitute, in a recipient animal, a tumor that is identical to the parental patient tumor and that can be serially xenotransplanted indefinitely. Therefore, in a strict sense, none of the CSC thus far reported can be truly classified as CSC and should more appropriately be called tumor-reinitiating cells. In reality, it will be very difficult to identify a tumorigenic cell that can fulfill the most stringent definition of a cancer...


Cancer Stem Cell Side Population Side Population Cell Normal Stem Cell Mammary Stem Cell 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Carcinogenesis, Science Park-Research DivisionThe University of Texas M. D Anderson Cancer CenterSmithvilleUSA