Getting at the root and stem of brain tumors

Neuron. 2004 Jun 24;42(6):885-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2004.06.011.


Brain tumors are among the most aggressive and intractable types of cancer. Recent studies indicate that brain tumor cells resemble neural stem cells in terms of phenotype, signaling, and behavior in vitro. In light of these similarities, it has been suggested that brain tumors arise from stem cells, that they co-opt stem cell strategies for self-renewal, and even that they contain "cancer stem cells" that are critical for tumor maintenance. We will examine these possibilities and discuss their implications for the understanding and treatment of brain tumors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Stem Cells / physiology*


  • Biomarkers