Cancer Stem Cells covers a wide range of topics in cancer stem cell biology, including the functional characteristics of cancer stem cells and how they're generated, where they are localized, the means by which cancer stem cells can be targeted, and how cancer stem cells can be reprogrammed back to normal tissue stem cells. Each chapter begins with a brief historical note and concept summary, followed by a description of the latest basic or clinical advance associated with the topic.
Cancer Stem Cells builds systematically from coverage of the basic research stage to an advanced research level, from clinical relevance to therapeutic potential, and will be a valuable resource for professionals in the fields of cancer research and stem cell biology.
Dr. V.K. Rajasekhar, M.Sc., M.Phil., Ph.D., is a Senior Research Scientist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. His work with patient derived prostate cancer stem cell xenografts, a first study in renewable Biobanking of these clinically relevant cells, has garnered eclectic post-publication reviews. Dr. Rajasekhar has received competitive research awards from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, and the Robert A. Welch Foundation, Texas. He has conducted research at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, University of California at Irvine, University of Freiburg in Germany, etc., and taught at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. Rajasekhar has served as a peer reviewer for several journals, including Stem Cells, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA, Journal of Molecular Biology, Journal of Cell Biology, Neoplasia, etc.
During the last decade, the conceptual themes of stem cell biology have been
re-applied, with a new vigor, to the field of oncology. The idea that, similar
to normal tissues, tumors can be viewed as “complex societies”,
where different cell types are generated as the result of multi-lineage differentiation
processes, and organize themselves in hierarchical structures, has now entered
the realm of solid tumor biology, and altered the way we think of cancer as
a disease. Most importantly, the possibility that tumor tissues, similar to
normal ones, might be sustained in their long-term growth by a subset of cancer
cells endowed with stem cell properties (i.e. a mutated “cancer stem cell”population
capable of both aberrant self-renewal as well as differentiation) has important
implications for the future development of targeted therapies. In this beautiful
book, Dr. Vinagolu K. Rajasekhar (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - New
York) thoughtfully weaved together the perspectives and contributions from several
of the leading scientists in the field. This book is both an elegant review
and a practical guide to the exciting, and still largely uncharted, world of
“cancer stem cells”. I praise the editor and the authors for this
wonderful endeavor, rich of provocative ideas and challenging concepts, not
only for a better understanding of basic cancer biology, but also for the future
development of new, more effective, anti-tumor treatments.
—Michael F. Clarke, MD., Stanford University, Stanford, CA. USA.
“The cancer stem cell (CSC) concept posits that not all cells in tumors
are equal, but that dedicated cells fuel tumor growth. A major attraction of
the CSC concept rests in the explanations it provides for several poorly understood
clinical phenomena. The CSCs are built to last a life-time, to be resilient
to electromagnetic and chemical insults, to be able to slumber for prolonged
periods of time and to colonize other parts of the body. Thus, the CSC hypothesis
explains why a cancer patient should never be considered cured, even when the
initial response to radiation or chemo-therapy is encouragingly robust. The
concept guides the development of more effective treatments, targeting the ‘beating
heart’ of the tumor: the CSC. This authoritative book, written by a range
of world-leading cancer researchers, provides a comprehensive overview of the
cancer stem cell, its microenvironment, and how these insights will lead to
novel clinical strategies.”
—Hans Clevers, MD., PhD., Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht. The Netherlands.
“The nature and clinical relevance of cancer stem cells are timely topics
covered with an appropriately broad and insightful brush in this comprehensive
book devoted entirely to this subject. Chapters include emerging provocative
evidence that a cancer stem cell, although still necessarily defined operationally,
actually refers to a molecular state that may be unstable or altered reversibly.
In this respect, the cancer stem cell field has entered a new era of complexity
building on discoveries of concurrent intrinsic and extrinsic regulators of
the stem cell state in normal tissues. Nevertheless, in spite of this evolution,
many investigations in specific types of malignancies have proven useful and
more are expected. For those wanting to stay abreast of the field from a basic
as well as a clinical perspective, this book will be a welcome read and resource.”
—Connie J. Eaves, PhD., FRSC., Terry Fox Laboratory, Vancouver, Canada.
"Cancer stem cells have moved onto center stage for those who are interested
in the behavior of solid tumors. In the context of carcinomas, these cells hold
the prospect of explaining many aspects of the malignant behavior of high-grade
tumor cells, including their metastatic dissemination and their responsiveness
to a variety of therapies. Those who are interested in developing novel therapeutic
strategies for treating solid tumors can no longer afford to ignore these important
subpopulations of cancer cells, which increasingly appear to be critical determinants
of the success or failure of existing treatments. This volume reports on many
aspects of these cells in a variety of human tumors, justifying the notion that
CSCs are likely to be important players in virtually all types of human tumors."
—Robert A. Weinberg, PhD., Whitehead Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. USA.