IMR Press / FBE / Volume 4 / Issue 7 / DOI: 10.2741/E561

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (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.


Cancer stem cells and niche mircoenvironments

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1 Department of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and Simmons Cancer Institute, Springfield, IL, 62794-9626

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2012, 4(7), 2502–2514;
Published: 1 June 2012

The isolation and characterization of cancer stem cells as the cells that initiate cancer has lead to a paradigm shift in our approaches toward cancer management. According to this new concept, only a small percentage of cells, termed cancer stem cells (CSCs), drive tumor formation and progression and give rise to the heterogeneity of tumor cells. It has been a decade since the cancer cell was proclaimed to be “self-sufficient in growth signals”. However, recent researches suggest that even the CSCs rely heavily on the ancillary cells present in the tumor stroma for their persistence in the quiescent state. In this review we will discuss a complex integrated ongoing process in the tumor microenvironment which enables the CSCs to maintain their undifferentiated yet plastic state.

Cancer stem cell
Stem cell niche
Tumor microenvironment
Tumor associated macrophages
Cancer associated fibroblasts
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