Open Access
Article
Self-renewal mechanisms in neural cancer stem cells
Theo Mantamadiotis1,Stavros Taraviras1
1
Laboratory of Physiology, Department of Medicine, University of Patras, Rio, Patras 26500, Greece. mantamad@upatras.gr
DOI: 10.2741/3708 Volume 16 Issue 2, pp.598-607
Published: 01 January 2011
Abstract

The view that there are cancer-initiating stem cells has led to a concerted effort to understand the nature of these cells. As in many tissues, rare populations of cancer stem cells have been characterized in neural cancers, including glioblastoma, medulloblastoma and epyndymoma. The ability of stem cells to undergo both symmetric (self-renewal) and asymmetric (division to produce a more differentiated cell) cell division is what defines them as stem cells. Understanding the molecular genetic mechanisms governing the self-renewal and proliferation of these cells will be important in developing novel more effective strategies which will perhaps lead to better treatments for many cancers, including some of the most difficult to treat, such as the most common and aggressive brain cancer, glioblastoma. This review will focus on the molecular genetic mechanisms which have recently been identified as being important for neural stem cell self-renewal in brain cancer.

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Theo Mantamadiotis, Stavros Taraviras. Self-renewal mechanisms in neural cancer stem cells. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark. 2011. 16(2); 598-607.