J Med Life Sci > Volume 15(2); 2018 > Article
Journal of Medicine and Life Science 2018;15(2):46-50.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22730/jmls.2018.15.2.46    Published online January 3, 2019.
유방암 줄기세포 개념 및 제한점
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Concept and limitation of breast cancer stem cells
Jong Bin Kim, Jeong Shin An, Woosung Lim, Byung-In Moon
Research Center for Cellular Homeostasis, Ewha Womans University
Department of Surgery, Ewha Womans University School of Medicine, Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital
Correspondence:  Jong Bin Kim, Email: kkimjp@gmail.com
Cancer, a leading mortality disease following cardiovascular disease worldwide, has high incidence as one out of every four adults in Korea. It was known to be caused by several reasons including somatic mutation, activation of oncogene and chromosome aneuploidy. Cancer cells show a faster growth rate and have metastatic and heterogeneous cell populations compared to normal cells. Cancer stem cells, the most invested field in cancer biology, is a theory to explain heterogeneous cell populations of cancer cells among several characteristics of cancer cells, which is providing the theoretical background for incidence of cancer and treatment failure by drug resistance. Cancer stem cells initially explain heterogeneous cell populations of cancer cells based on the same markers of normal stem cells in cancer, in which only cancer stem cells showed heterogeneity of cancer cells and tumor initiating ability of leukemia. Based on these results, cancer stem cells were reported in various solid cancers such as breast cancer, liver cancer, and lung cancer. Breast cancer stem cells were first reported in solid cancer which had tumor initiating ability. Breast cancer stem cells had anti-cancer drug resistance as well as tumor initiating ability. There were several identification methods in breast cancer stem cells such as specific marker, cultured methods. The discovery of cancer stem cells not only explains heterogeneity of cancer cells, but it also provides theoretical background for targeting cancer stem cells to complete elimination of cancer cells. Many institutes have been developing new anticancer drugs targeting cancer stem cells, but there have not been noticeable results yet. Many researchers also reported a necessity for improvement of current concepts and methods of research on cancer stem cells. Herein, we discuss the limitations and the perspectives of breast cancer stem cells based on the current concept and history.
Key Words: Breast, cancer, Cancer, stem, cells
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