Author(s): Zller M
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Abstract Can an abundantly expressed molecule be a reliable marker for the cancer-initiating cells (CICs; also known as cancer stem cells), which constitute the minority of cells within the mass of a tumour? CD44 has been implicated as a CIC marker in several malignancies of haematopoietic and epithelial origin. Is this a fortuitous coincidence owing to the widespread expression of the molecule or is CD44 expression advantageous as it fulfils some of the special properties that are displayed by CICs, such as self-renewal, niche preparation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition and resistance to apoptosis?
This article was published in Nat Rev Cancer
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology