Putative cancer stem cells in cutaneous malignancies


Maria R. Kamstrup, Department of Dermatology, Bispebjerg Hospital, Bispebjerg Bakhe 23, DK-2400, Copenhagen, Denmark, Tel.: +45 3531 6005, Fax: +45 3531 6101, e-mail: mk43@bbh.hosp.dk


Abstract:  Recent experimental data offer convincing evidence for the existence of cancer stem cells in leukaemia, brain tumors and breast cancer. These cells are responsible for the maintenance of tumor growth and relapses after cytoreductive treatments. This paper provides a brief overview of current data supporting the idea of cancer stem cells in the pathogenesis of cutaneous malignancies, including skin carcinoma, malignant melanoma and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. The characterization of putative cancer stem cells is important to develop new therapies selectively targeting these cells.