Stem cells, cancer, and cancer stem cells

Tannishtha Reya, Sean J. Morrison, Michael F. Clarke, Irving L. Weissman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

6871 Scopus citations

Abstract

Stem cell biology has come of age. Unequivocal proof that stem cells exist in the haematopoietic system has given way to the prospective isolation of several tissue-specific stem and progenitor cells, the initial delineation of their properties and expressed genetic programmes, and the beginnings of their utility in regenerative medicine. Perhaps the most important and useful property of stem cells is that of self-renewal. Through this property, striking parallels can be found between stem cells and cancer cells: tumours may often originate from the transformation of normal stem cells, similar signalling pathways may regulate self-renewal in stem cells and cancer cells, and cancer cells may include 'cancer stem cells' - rare cells with indefinite potential for self-renewal that drive tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-111
Number of pages7
JournalNature
Volume414
Issue number6859
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2001

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Cite this

Reya, T., Morrison, S. J., Clarke, M. F., & Weissman, I. L. (2001). Stem cells, cancer, and cancer stem cells. Nature, 414(6859), 105-111. https://doi.org/10.1038/35102167