Despite recent advances in the development of novel targeted chemotherapies, the prognosis of malignant glioma remains dismal. The chemo-resistance of this tumor is attributed to tumor heterogeneity. To explain this unique chemo- resistance, the concept of cancer stem cells has been evoked. Cancer stem cells, a subpopulation of whole tumor cells, are now regarded as candidate therapeutic targets. Here, the author reviews and discusses the cancer stem cell concept.
Keywords: Cancer stem cell; Cell of origin; Lineage hierarchy.