Prostate Cancer Stem Cells: A Brief Review
Human cancers have been shown to harbor stem cell-like cells called cancer stem cells (CSCs). These cells are thought to be endowed with indefinite self-renewal ability and believed to be involved in tumor initiation, promotion, progression, metastasis, and therapy resistance. Prostate cancers (PCa) have also been shown to contain CSCs. Here we briefly review the literature reports of CSCs in various tumor systems. We then summarize studies of prostate CSCs (PCSCs) in human cancers and mouse models and discuss their respective limitations. We further discuss the current controversies with respect to identifying the cell of origin for PCa. Elucidating the unique characteristics of PCSCs will enhance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the emergence of castration-resistant disease and may provide new opportunities for developing therapeutics that target the recurrent PCa.
KeywordsCancer Stem Cell Side Population Luminal Cell Cancer Stem Cell Population Aldefluor Assay
Acute myeloid leukemia
Cancer stem cells
Human prostate cancer
Prostate cancer stem cells
The work in the authors’ lab was supported, in part, by grants from NIH (R21-CA150009 and R01-CA155693-01A1), Department of Defense (W81XWH-11-1-0331), CPRIT (RP120380), and the MDACC Center for Cancer Epigenetics (D.G.T) and by two Center Grants (CCSG-5 P30 CA166672). X. Chen was supported by the Cockrell Fund from the Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis.