Both authors contributed equally to this work.
Biology of hepatic cancer stem cells
Article first published online: 19 JUL 2011
© 2011 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 26, Issue 8, pages 1229–1237, August 2011
How to Cite
Tong, C. M., Ma, S. and Guan, X.-Y. (2011), Biology of hepatic cancer stem cells. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 26: 1229–1237. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2011.06762.x
There is no potential conflict of interest for each of the authors.
- Issue published online: 19 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 19 JUL 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 9 MAY 2011 06:56PM EST
- Accepted for publication 28 April 2011.
- cancer stem cells;
- hepatocellular carcinoma;
- liver cancer;
- tumor-initiating cells
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy of the liver and is the third most frequent cause of cancer death worldwide. Although advances in HCC detection and treatment have increased the likelihood of a cure at early stages of the disease, HCC remains largely incurable because of late presentation and tumor recurrence. Only 25% of HCC patients are deemed suitable for curative treatment, with the overall survival at just a few months for inoperable patients. Additionally, this disease is particularly difficult to treat because of the high recurrence rate, its chemotherapy-resistant nature and the premalignant nature of surrounding cirrhotic liver disease. In the past few years, compelling evidence has emerged in support of the hierarchic cancer stem cell (CSC)/tumor-initiating cell (T-IC) model for solid tumors, including HCC. Understanding the characteristics and function of CSCs in the liver has also shed light on HCC management and treatment, including the implications for prognosis, prediction and treatment resistance. In this review, a detailed summary of the recent progress in liver CSC research with regard to identification, regulation and therapeutic implications will be discussed.