Cancer stem cells: Beyond Koch’s postulates

Emmanuel Garcion 1 Philippe Naveilhan 2 François Berger 3, 4 Didier Wion 3, 4, *
* Auteur correspondant
4 Equipe 7 : Nanomédecine et Cerveau
UJF - Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble 1, CEA - Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives, INSERM - Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale : U836, [GIN] Grenoble Institut des Neurosciences
Abstract : Until the last century, infectious diseases were the leading cause of human mortality. Therefore, our current medical reasoning is profoundly influenced by views that originated from medical microbiology. The notion that cancer growth is sustained by a sub-population of particular cells, the cancer stem cells, is highly reminiscent of the germ theory of disease as exemplified by Koch's postulates in the XIX th century. However, accumulating data underscore the importance of cell-cell interactions and tumor environment. Hence it is essential to critically review the basic tenets of the cancer stem cell concept on the light of their relationships with Koch's postulates. Shifting the pathogenic element from a special cellular entity (cancer stem cell or microorganism) to a " pathogenic field " could be critical for curing both cancer and drug-resistant infectious diseases.
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Cancer Letters, Elsevier, 2009, 278 (1), pp.3-8. 〈10.1016/j.canlet.2008.09.006〉
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Emmanuel Garcion, Philippe Naveilhan, François Berger, Didier Wion. Cancer stem cells: Beyond Koch’s postulates. Cancer Letters, Elsevier, 2009, 278 (1), pp.3-8. 〈10.1016/j.canlet.2008.09.006〉. 〈inserm-01194481〉

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