Research Topic

Understanding the Role of Cancer Stem Cells in Tumor Formation and Metastasis

About this Research Topic

Cancer stem cells within solid tumors are a privileged subpopulation that processes highly tumorigenic and metastatic potential. However, the strategy to precisely identify and target cancer stem cells has been hindered by the the lack of consensus of cancer stem markers in many solid tumor types, and the intrinsic limitation of standard experimental methods of xenograft transplantation in immunodeficient mice. Recent advancements in the development of patient-derived cancer organoid platform and single-cell based RNA sequencing techniques bring about an unprecedented opportunity to decipher human cancer stem cells at high fidelity and resolution. Meanwhile, it’s increasingly recognized that cancer stem cells exist in a state of plasticity that adapts to metabolic and immunogenic stress from the tumor microenvironment.

Environmental signals from an abundance of immune and stromal cell types, which constitute the cancer stem cell niche, dynamically shapes cancer stem cell abundance and functionality. Epigenetic regulation including DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNAs also control the plasticity of cancer stem cells in tumor formation and metastasis. Specifically, cancer stem cells are frequently found to be enriched within circulation and metastatic microenvironments, underscoring the importance of their interaction with metastatic microenvironmental elements and signals. Targeting the cancer stem cell metastatic niche might be an alternative strategy to efficiently combat cancer stem cell-driven tumor metastasis and secondary tumor formation in target organs.

This Research Topic aims to cover recent studies in all aspects of cancer stem cells with a focus on its contribution to tumor formation and metastasis, aiming to enrich our understanding of cancer stem cell and its interaction with tumor microenvironment. Reviews, Original Research and other article types pertained to cancer stem cells in solid tumor formation and metastasis are welcome.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Cancer stem cells within solid tumors are a privileged subpopulation that processes highly tumorigenic and metastatic potential. However, the strategy to precisely identify and target cancer stem cells has been hindered by the the lack of consensus of cancer stem markers in many solid tumor types, and the intrinsic limitation of standard experimental methods of xenograft transplantation in immunodeficient mice. Recent advancements in the development of patient-derived cancer organoid platform and single-cell based RNA sequencing techniques bring about an unprecedented opportunity to decipher human cancer stem cells at high fidelity and resolution. Meanwhile, it’s increasingly recognized that cancer stem cells exist in a state of plasticity that adapts to metabolic and immunogenic stress from the tumor microenvironment.

Environmental signals from an abundance of immune and stromal cell types, which constitute the cancer stem cell niche, dynamically shapes cancer stem cell abundance and functionality. Epigenetic regulation including DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNAs also control the plasticity of cancer stem cells in tumor formation and metastasis. Specifically, cancer stem cells are frequently found to be enriched within circulation and metastatic microenvironments, underscoring the importance of their interaction with metastatic microenvironmental elements and signals. Targeting the cancer stem cell metastatic niche might be an alternative strategy to efficiently combat cancer stem cell-driven tumor metastasis and secondary tumor formation in target organs.

This Research Topic aims to cover recent studies in all aspects of cancer stem cells with a focus on its contribution to tumor formation and metastasis, aiming to enrich our understanding of cancer stem cell and its interaction with tumor microenvironment. Reviews, Original Research and other article types pertained to cancer stem cells in solid tumor formation and metastasis are welcome.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 January 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 January 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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