Human breast cancer stem cell markers CD44 and CD24: enriching for cells with functional properties in mice or in man?

Breast Cancer Res. 2007;9(3):303. doi: 10.1186/bcr1673.


Identification of breast cancer stem cells as the cells within breast tumors that have the ability to give rise to cells that make up the bulk of the tumor mass has shifted the focus of cancer research. However, there is still much debate concerning the unique nature of the markers that distinguish cancer stem cells in the breast. As such, understanding whether CD44+/CD24- breast cancer cells are merely more successful in overcoming an engraftment incompatibility that exists when injecting human cells into the mouse adipose tissue or are indeed bona fide cancer stem cells is of great importance.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • CD24 Antigen / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Stem Cells / pathology
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous


  • CD24 Antigen
  • Hyaluronan Receptors