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Stem cells and the origin of gliomas: A historical reappraisal with molecular advancements

Authors Levy ML, Ho AL, Hughes S, Menon J, Jandial R

Published 20 January 2009 Volume 2008:1 Pages 41—47


Michael L Levy1, Allen L Ho1,2, Samuel Hughes3, Jayant Menon1, Rahul Jandial4

1Division of Neurosurgery, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA; 2Del E Webb Neurosciences, Aging and Stem Cell Research Center, The Burnham Institute for Medical Research, La Jolla, California, USA; 3Department of Neurological Surgery, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA; 4Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, City of Hope Cancer Center, Duarte, CA, USA

Abstract: The biology of both normal and tumor development clearly possesses overlapping and parallel features. Oncogenes and tumor suppressors are relevant not only in tumor biology, but also in physiological developmental regulators of growth and differentiation. Conversely, genes identified as regulators of developmental biology are relevant to tumor biology. This is particularly relevant in the context of brain tumors, where recent evidence is mounting that the origin of brain tumors, specifically gliomas, may represent dysfunctional developmental neurobiology. Neural stem cells are increasingly being investigated as the cell type that originally undergoes malignant transformation – the cell of origin – and the evidence for this is discussed.

Keywords: stem cells, gliomas, neural stem cells, brain tumors, cancer stem cells

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