Colorectal Cancer Stem Cells

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Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in North America. Although our understanding of mechanisms mediating tumorigenesis has advanced over the years, translation to improved clinical outcome has been limited. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been identified as an important subpopulation of cells driving tumor progression and therapeutic resistance. This chapter provides an overview on colorectal CSCs with a focus on markers that define the CSC subpopulation, the role of the microenvironment, and the molecular mechanisms driving tumorigenesis, metastasis, and chemoresistance. Targeting CSCs will be necessary for obtaining sustainable cures and current strategies being employed are reviewed.




Rehman, S., Haynes, J., Lima-Fernandes, E., Puri, A., Haller, A., Leung, C., … O’Brien, C. A. (2016). Colorectal Cancer Stem Cells. In Cancer Stem Cells: Targeting the Roots of Cancer, Seeds of Metastasis, and Sources of Therapy Resistance (pp. 177–209). Elsevier Inc.

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