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Cancer Stem Cells in Breast Cancer

Division of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, National Cancer Center Research Institute, 1-1, Tsukiji 5-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama, Japan, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Okayama City, Okayama 700-8558, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cancers 2011, 3(1), 1311-1328;
Received: 17 February 2011 / Revised: 3 March 2011 / Accepted: 11 March 2011 / Published: 15 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Stem Cells)
PDF [381 KB, uploaded 15 March 2011]


The cancer stem cell (CSC) theory is generally acknowledged as an important field of cancer research, not only as an academic matter but also as a crucial aspect of clinical practice. CSCs share a variety of biological properties with normal somatic stem cells in self-renewal, the propagation of differentiated progeny, the expression of specific cell markers and stem cell genes, and the utilization of common signaling pathways and the stem cell niche. However, CSCs differ from normal stem cells in their chemoresistance and their tumorigenic and metastatic activities. In this review, we focus on recent reports regarding the identification of CSC markers and the molecular mechanism of CSC phenotypes to understand the basic properties and molecular target of CSCs. In addition, we especially focus on the CSCs of breast cancer since the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy can lead to the enrichment of CSCs in patients with that disease. The identification of CSC markers and an improved understanding of the molecular mechanism of CSC phenotypes should lead to progress in cancer therapy and improved prognoses for patients with cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer stem cells; breast cancer; EMT; TGF-b; microRNAs cancer stem cells; breast cancer; EMT; TGF-b; microRNAs

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Takahashi, R.-U.; Takeshita, F.; Fujiwara, T.; Ono, M.; Ochiya, T. Cancer Stem Cells in Breast Cancer. Cancers 2011, 3, 1311-1328.

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