Location, location, location: the cancer stem cell niche

Cell Stem Cell. 2007 Dec 13;1(6):607-11. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2007.11.009.


The existence of a stem cell niche, or physiological microenvironment, consisting of specialized cells that directly and indirectly participate in stem cell regulation has been verified for mammalian adult stem cells in the intestinal, neural, epidermal, and hematopoietic systems. In light of these findings, it has been proposed that a "cancer stem cell niche" also exists and that interactions with this tumor niche may specify a self-renewing population of tumor cells. We discuss emerging data that support the idea of a veritable cancer stem cell niche and propose several models for the relationship between cancer cells and their niches.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / physiology*