Contribution of stem cells and differentiated cells to epidermal tumours

Nat Rev Cancer. 2003 Jun;3(6):444-51. doi: 10.1038/nrc1096.


The outer covering of the skin--the epidermis--is subject to sustained environmental assaults. As a result, many cells acquire potentially oncogenic mutations. Most cells are lost through differentiation, and only long-term epidermal residents, such as stem cells, accumulate the number of genetic hits that are necessary for tumour development. So, what genetic and environmental factors determine whether a mutant stem cell forms a tumour and what type of tumour will develop?

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Epidermis / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*