Stem-cell hierarchy in skin cancer

Nat Rev Cancer. 2003 Jun;3(6):434-43. doi: 10.1038/nrc1095.


Tumour architecture mimics many of the features of normal tissues, with a cellular hierarchy that regulates the balance between cell renewal and cell death. Although many tumours contain cells with the characteristics of stem cells, the identity of the normal cells that acquire the first genetic hits leading to initiation of carcinogenesis has remained elusive. Identification of the primary cell of origin of cancers and the mechanisms that influence cell-fate decisions will be crucial for the development of novel non-toxic therapies that influence tumour-cell behaviour.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*