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 imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Academic Editor: Suresh Alahari
The lethality of cancer is mainly caused by its properties of metastasis, drug resistance, and subsequent recurrence. Understanding the mechanisms governing these properties and developing novel strategies to overcome them will greatly improve the survival of cancer patients. Recent findings suggest that tumors are comprised of heterogeneous cell populations, and only a small fraction of these are tumorigenic with the ability to self-renew and produce phenotypically diverse tumor cell populations. Cells in this fraction are called tumor-initiating cells (TICs) or cancer stem cells (CSCs). TICs have been identified from many types of cancer. They share several similarities with normal adult stem cells including sphere-forming ability, self-renewability, and expression of stem cell surface markers and transcription factors. TICs have also been proposed to be responsible for cancer metastasis, however, scarce evidence for their metastatic potential has been provided. In this review article, we have attempted to summarize the studies which have examined the metastatic potential of TICs in solid tumors.