In a review in Science, a University of Rochester Medical Center researcher sorts out the controversy and promise around a dangerous subtype of cancer cells, known as cancer stem cells, which seem capable of resisting many modern treatments.Based on this review: The Increasing Complexity of the Cancer Stem Cell Paradigm by Jeffrey M Rosen and Craig T Jordan, Science 2009(Jun 26); 324(5935): 1670-3. First paragraph:
The investigation and study of cancer stem cells (CSCs) have received enormous attention over the past 5 to 10 years but remain topics of considerable controversy. Opinions about the validity of the CSC hypothesis, the biological properties of CSCs, and the relevance of CSCs to cancer therapy differ widely. In the following commentary, we discuss the nature of the debate, the parameters by which CSCs can or cannot be defined, and the identification of new potential therapeutic targets elucidated by considering cancer as a problem in stem cell biology.