[Frontiers in Bioscience S2, 184-193, January 1, 2010]

Cancer stem cell and niche

Hongmei Jiang1, Daotai Nie1

1Department of Medical Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute, Springfield, IL


1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Origin and identification of cancer stem cell
4. Role of CSCs in tumor progression
4.1. CSCs and cancer metastasis
4.2. CSCs and tumor angiogenesis
5. CSCs and their niche
6. Cellular signaling pathways regulating CSCs
6.1. Wnt pathway
6.2. Notch pathway
6.3. Sonic hedgehog homolog (Shh) pathways
7. CSCs in cancer therapy
8. Future direction
9. Acknowledgement
10. Reference


Recent research on cancer has generated a new model for cancer growth-cancer stem cell model. This model can explain the inefficiency of conventional therapy. Tumor tissue, like normal tissue, is continuously repopulated from pools of self-renewing stem cells growing in a "niche", which is made up of a specialized vascular bed of endothelial cells, associated cells of mesenchymal origin and extracellular matrix components. In this review, we will introduce the models of cancer development, the roles of stem cells in tumor progression, the components of niche which affects the cell fate of cancer stem cells (CSCs), their different regulatory factors, as well as the clinical implication of CSCs in cancer treatment.