Leukaemia stem cells and the evolution of cancer-stem-cell research

Nat Rev Cancer. 2005 Apr;5(4):311-21. doi: 10.1038/nrc1592.


Many cancers seem to depend on a small population of 'cancer stem cells' for their continued growth and propagation. The leukaemia stem cell (LSC) was the first such cell to be described. The origins of these cells are controversial, and their biology - like that of their normal-tissue counterpart, the haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) - is still not fully elucidated. However, the LSC is likely to be the most crucial target in the treatment of leukaemias, and a thorough understanding of its biology - particularly of how the LSC differs from the HSC - might allow it to be selectively targeted, improving therapeutic outcome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell Division
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / physiology
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / genetics
  • Leukemia / history
  • Leukemia / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Research
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Biomarkers, Tumor