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Prostate cancer stem/progenitor cells: Identification, characterization, and implications

Authors

  • Dean G. Tang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Carcinogenesis, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park-Research Division, Smithville, Texas
    2. Program in Environmental & Molecular Carcinogenesis, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS), Houston, Texas
    • Department of Carcinogenesis, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park-Research Division, 1808 Park Road 1C, Smithville, TX 78957.
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  • Lubna Patrawala,

    1. Department of Carcinogenesis, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park-Research Division, Smithville, Texas
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  • Tammy Calhoun,

    1. Department of Carcinogenesis, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park-Research Division, Smithville, Texas
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  • Bobby Bhatia,

    1. Department of Carcinogenesis, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park-Research Division, Smithville, Texas
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Oncological Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L. Levy Place—Box 1130, New York, New York 10029.
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  • Grace Choy,

    1. Department of Carcinogenesis, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park-Research Division, Smithville, Texas
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  • Robin Schneider-Broussard,

    1. Department of Carcinogenesis, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park-Research Division, Smithville, Texas
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  • Collene Jeter

    1. Department of Carcinogenesis, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park-Research Division, Smithville, Texas
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Abstract

Several solid tumors have now been shown to contain stem cell-like cells called cancer stem cells (CSC). These cells, although generally rare, appear to be highly tumorigenic and may be the cells that drive tumor formation, maintain tumor homeostasis, and mediate tumor metastasis. In this Perspective, we first provide our insight on how a CSC should be defined. We then summarize our current knowledge of stem/progenitor cells in the normal human prostate (NHP), an organ highly susceptible to hyperproliferative diseases such as benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer (PCa). We further review the evidence that cultured PCa cells, xenograft prostate tumors, and patient tumors may contain stem/progenitor cells. Along with our discussion, we present several methodologies that can be potentially used to identify putative tumor-reinitiating CSC. Finally, we present a hypothetical model for the hierarchical organization of human PCa cells and discuss the implications of this model in helping understand prostate carcinogenesis and design novel diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic approaches. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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