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Cancers 2011, 3(1), 1111-1128;

Drug Treatment of Cancer Cell Lines: A Way to Select for Cancer Stem Cells?

Institute of Molecular Genetics, CNR, via Abbiategrasso 207, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 January 2011 / Revised: 31 January 2011 / Accepted: 24 February 2011 / Published: 4 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Stem Cells)
Full-Text   |   PDF [138 KB, uploaded 4 March 2011]


Tumors are generally composed of different cell types. In recent years, it has been shown that in many types of cancers a subset of cells show peculiar characteristics, such as the ability to induce tumors when engrafted into host animals, self-renew and being immortal, and give rise to a differentiated progeny. These cells have been defined as cancer stem cells (CSCs) or tumor initiating cells. CSCs can be isolated both from tumor specimens and established cancer cell lines on the basis of their ability to exclude fluorescent dyes, express specific cell surface markers or grow in particular culture conditions. A key feature of CSCs is their resistance to chemotherapeutic agents, which could contribute to the remaining of residual cancer cells after therapeutic treatments. It has been shown that CSC-like cells can be isolated after drug treatment of cancer cell lines; in this review, we will describe the strategies so far applied to identify and isolate CSCs. Furthermore, we will discuss the possible use of these selected populations to investigate CSC biology and develop new anticancer drugs. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer; stem cells; drug resistance; chemotherapy cancer; stem cells; drug resistance; chemotherapy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Chiodi, I.; Belgiovine, C.; Donà, F.; Scovassi, A.I.; Mondello, C. Drug Treatment of Cancer Cell Lines: A Way to Select for Cancer Stem Cells? Cancers 2011, 3, 1111-1128.

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