Gliomagenesis: Targeting the Stem Cell Niche

Over a hundred years ago, scientists were struck by the similarities between tumor growth and embryology, noting that both processes require a population of self-renewing, multipotent “stem” cells capable of producing all mature cell types of particular tissue. The twin discoveries of an adult resident population of cortical stem cell s expressing unique surface antigen markers and malignant brain tumors also expressed these markers renewed interest in characterizing cancer as a disorder of a resident population of pluripotent stem cells. We review what we have learned about relationships between the stem cell niche and gliomagenesis with an emphasis on future directions of research.

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