IMR Press / FBL / Volume 16 / Issue 5 / DOI: 10.2741/3824

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Breast cancer stem cells: a new challenge for breast cancer treatment
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1 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Stanley Scott Cancer Center, LSU School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
Academic Editor:Suresh Alahari
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2011, 16(5), 1824–1832;
Published: 1 January 2011

The biggest challenge for cancer research is relapses that occur in patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy, suggesting that some cells in tumors escape targeted treatment. Key questions are why relapses occur and why current therapies fail to remove all cancer cells. The cancer stem-cell hypothesisis based on the fact that not all cells within a tumor are similar. Other than tumorigenesis and metastasis, cancer stem cells have some properties that are similar to those of normal stem cells, such as self-renewal and differentiation. Accordingly, breast cancer stem cells may arise from mutation of normal mammary stem cells or progenitor cells. Cancer stem cell regulation involves several factors, such as Wnt, Notch, and Hedgehog, mutations of which endow cancer stem cells with the capacity for self-renewal. Moreover, epithelial mesenchymal transition and microRNAs recently have been shown to regulate the "stemness " of cancer cells. Targeting cancer stem cells could prevent relapse and provide new hope for cancer prevention.

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