As our understanding of pancreatic cancer evolves, evidence is growing to support a role for cancer stem cells in this devastating disease. Cancer stem cells constitute a distinct subpopulation in the tumor and are considered to drive both tumorigenesis and metastasis; these cells are thought to be highly resistant to standard treatment modalities. Here we review the current knowledge on pancreatic cancer stem cells and the implementation of cancer stem cell markers as prognostic or predictive biomarkers. We also discuss prospects for the use of cancer stem cells as targets for future therapeutic regimens in pancreatic cancer.
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