Abstract.   The prostate gland is the site of the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in USA and UK, accounting for one in five of new cases of male cancer. Common with many other cancer types, prostate cancer is believed to arise from a stem cell that shares characteristics with the normal stem cell. Normal prostate epithelial stem cells were recently identified and found to have a basal cell phenotype together with expression of CD133. Preliminary data have now emerged for a prostate cancer stem cell that also expresses cell surface CD133 but lacks expression of the androgen receptor. Here we examine the evidence supporting the existence of prostate cancer stem cells and discuss possible mechanisms of stem cell maintenance.