Stem-Like cells from brain tumours or vice versa?

Sara G M Piccirillo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the last years the idea that tumours arise from a sub-population of cells endowed with stem cell features completely revolutionized the field of Oncology. This hypothesis found its initial confirmation by studies on non-solid tumours and then has been extended also to solid tumours and in particular to the most aggressive brain cancer i.e. glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). It is a common believe that the so called cancer stem cells (CSCs) concept could also provide new insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms of tumour growth and in the future to the development of new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of incurable cancers. The CSC theory has also contributed to change our idea of treating brain cancers with normal neural stem cells since it seems that cancer cells and stem cells share functional properties and regulatory mechanisms. As a consequence a significant effort is currently underway to identify both CSC-specific markers and the molecular mechanisms that underpin the tumorigenic potential of these cells, for this will have a critical impact on our understanding of origin and growth of tumours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStem Cells and Human Diseases
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789400728011
ISBN (Print)940072800X, 9789400728004
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012


  • Cancer stem cells
  • Central nervous system
  • Glioblastoma multiforme
  • Neural stem cells
  • Tumorigenicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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