Cancer stem cells

Cells that divide to replenish a population of cancer cells. They are the cells that survive a therapeutic treatment that destroys the vast majority of the tumour. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) divide to produce cells that make up the returning tumour and are often the cells that leave the primary tumour, survive in the blood stream, and metastasize to distant organs. Also called tumour initiating cells. [Adapted from: Nguyen, D.H. (2016). Systems Biology of Tumour Physiology: Rethinking the Past, Defining the Future, Chapter 2, Cellular plasticity, cancer stem cells, and cells-of-origin. Springer.]