Cancer stem cells: Models, mechanisms and implications for improved treatment

Jiangbing Zhou, Ying Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Cancer stem cell research has drawn a lot of attention recently. The importance of cancer stem cell research lies in the possibility of providing new approaches for improved understanding of cancer biology and cancer treatment. However, cancer stem cell research is still at its infancy. In this review, we will discuss the concept of cancer stem cells and the commonly used approaches for isolating or enriching cancer stem cells. We then review the common features of cancer stem cells including resistance to cancer drugs and stresses such as hypoxia and radiation. We also summarize signaling pathways which might be preferentially important for cancer stem cells. Finally, we will propose a new Yin-Yang model of cancer stem cells and discuss the possibility of developing new drugs that target cancer stem cells for improved treatment of cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1360-1370
Number of pages11
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2008


  • ABC transporter
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Cancer therapy
  • Side population
  • Signaling pathway
  • Sphere culture
  • Surface marker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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