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Tumor tissues consist of heterogeneous cancer cells including cancer stem cells (CSCs) that can terminally differentiate into cancer cells. Tissue-specific stem cells in normal organs maintain their stemness in a specific microenvironment, the stem cell niche; several studies have suggested that there are specific microenvironments that maintain CSCs in an immature phenotype. Cell types in a CSC niche vary from fibroblasts, to endothelial cells, immune cells, and so on; these non-cancer cells have been suggested to change their original features in the normal tissue/organ and to acquire a phenotype that protects CSCs from anticancer therapies. Therefore, to kill CSCs, we need to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the maintenance of the immature phenotype of CSCs and in drug resistance. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Kazuyoshi Kise, Yumi Kinugasa-Katayama, Nobuyuki Takakura. Tumor microenvironment for cancer stem cells. Advanced drug delivery reviews. 2016 Apr 1;99(Pt B):197-205

PMID: 26362921

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