Nature Reviews Cancer 7, 733-736 (October 2007) | doi:10.1038/nrc2246

Article series: Tumour Microenvironment

Making a tumour's bed: glioblastoma stem cells and the vascular niche

Richard J. Gilbertson1 & Jeremy N. Rich2  About the authors


Parallel to the role that normal stem cells play in organogenesis, cancer stem cells are thought to be crucial for tumorigenesis. Understanding normal development might therefore lead to better treatments of cancer. We review recent data that stem cells of glioblastoma, a highly malignant brain tumour, seem to be dependent on cues from aberrant vascular niches that mimic the normal neural stem cell niche. These data have direct implications for cancer, highlighting the similarity between normal and malignant stem cells and identifying the tumour microenvironment as a target for new therapies.

Author affiliations

  1. Richard J. Gilbertson is at the Departments of Developmental Neurobiology and Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 332 North Lauderdale Street, Memphis, Tennessee 38,105, USA.
  2. Jeremy N. Rich is at the Departments of Medicine, Surgery, and Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27,710, USA.


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