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Targeting self-renewal, an Achilles' heel of cancer stem cells

Many tumors display a hierarchical organization that is maintained by a self-renewing 'cancer stem cell' population. A new study in mice shows that targeting the self-renewal regulator BMI-1 abrogates the tumorigenic capacity of colon cancer stem cells, providing a new therapeutic strategy (pages 29–36).

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Figure 1: BMI-1–mediated regulation of CSC self-renewal.


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Correspondence to Max S Wicha.

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M.S.W. holds equity in OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, receives research support from MedImmune and Dompe and is a scientific advisor to MedImmune, Verastem, Cerulean and Paganini.

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Wicha, M. Targeting self-renewal, an Achilles' heel of cancer stem cells. Nat Med 20, 14–15 (2014).

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