Apoptosis resistance can be used in screening the markers of cancer stem cells

Med Hypotheses. 2006;67(6):1381-3. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2006.05.054. Epub 2006 Jul 25.


Cancer stem cells are a small population of tumor cells that possess the stem cell property of self-renewal and spawning proliferation. The small population of cells is the seeds of tumors. Therefore, these cells are also called "Tumorigenic cells". Other cells which were present in majority in the entire tumor cells have only limited proliferation property and they cannot self-renew. So, isolation and identification of the small population of cells is helpful in further studying the difference between the cancer stem cells and non-tumorigenic cells in certain aspects. However, the isolation and identification of the cancer stem cell is still very difficult. It is reported that cancer stem cells can resist apoptosis when they expose to apoptosis inducement factors. Applying this characteristic of cancer stem cells, we put forward a hypothesis that apoptosis resistance of cancer stem cells can be used in screening the markers of the cancer stem cells. In apoptosis inducement model, the proportion of cancer stem cells may increase in surviving cells. The proportion of the cancer stem cell markers may increase accordingly. Through comparing the change of the expression of cell surface molecules on cancer cells, we may primarily screen the cancer stem cell markers.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Testing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / physiology*


  • Genetic Markers