Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Cancer stem cells

Here, there, everywhere?

Can every tumour cell propagate human cancers or is this property exclusive to an elite subset? Findings are divided. The latest set shows that — depending on circumstances — both perspectives can be correct.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Oncogenesis is a sequential process.


  1. Quintana, E. et al. Nature 456, 593–598 (2008).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Bonnet, D. & Dick, J. E. Nature Med. 3, 730–737 (1997).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Al-Hajj, M., Wicha, M. S., Benito-Hernandez, A., Morrison, S. J. & Clarke, M. F. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 100, 3983–3988 (2003).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Singh, S. K. et al. Nature 432, 396–401 (2004).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. O'Brien, C. A., Pollett, A., Gallinger, S. & Dick, J. E. Nature 445, 106–110 (2007).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Ricci-Vitiani, L. et al. Nature 445, 111–115 (2007).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Schatton, T. et al. Nature 451, 345–349 (2008).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Garcion, E., Naveilhan, P., Berger, F. & Wion, D. Cancer Lett. doi:10.1016/j.canlet.2008.09.006 (in the press).

  9. Bhatia, R. et al. Blood 101, 4701–4707 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Druker, B. J. et al. N. Engl. J. Med. 355, 2408–2417 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

See also Abstractions, page xiii , and News, page 553 .

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Eaves, C. Here, there, everywhere?. Nature 456, 581–582 (2008).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing