Cancer stem cell definitions and terminology: The devil is in the details

Peter Valent, Dominique Bonnet, Ruggero De Maria, Tsvee Lapidot, Mhairi Copland, Junia V. Melo, Christine Chomienne, Fumihiko Ishikawa, Jan Jacob Schuringa, Giorgio Stassi, Brian Huntly, Harald Herrmann, Jean Soulier, Alexander Roesch, Gerrit Jan Schuurhuis, Stefan Wöhrer, Michel Arock, Johannes Zuber, Sabine Cerny-Reiterer, Hans E. JohnsenMichael Andreeff, Connie Eaves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cancer stem cell (CSC) concept has important therapeutic implications, but its investigation has been hampered both by a lack of consistency in the terms used for these cells and by how they are defined. Evidence of their heterogeneous origins, frequencies and their genomic, as well as their phenotypic and functional, properties has added to the confusion and has fuelled new ideas and controversies. Participants in The Year 2011 Working Conference on CSCs met to review these issues and to propose a conceptual and practical framework for CSC terminology. More precise reporting of the parameters that are used to identify CSCs and to attribute responses to them is also recommended as key to accelerating an understanding of their biology and developing more effective methods for their eradication in patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-775
Number of pages9
JournalNature Reviews Cancer
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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