Gastric cancer is still a leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide in spite of declining incidence. Gastric cancers are, essentially, adenocarcinomas and one of the strongest risk factors is still infection with Helicobacter pylori
. Within the last years, it became clear that gastric self-renewal and carcinogenesis are intimately linked, particularly during chronic inflammatory conditions. Generally, gastric cancer is now regarded as a disease resulting from dysregulated differentiation of stem and progenitor cells, mainly due to an inflammatory environment. However, the situation in the stomach is rather complex, consisting of two types of gastric units which show bidirectional self-renewal from an unexpectedly large variety of progenitor/stem cell populations. As in many other tumors, cancer stem cells have also been characterized for gastric cancer. This review focuses on the various gastric epithelial stem cells, how they contribute to self-renewal and which routes are known to gastric adenocarcinomas, including their stem cells.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited