Cancer Stem Cells covers a wide range of topics in cancer stem cell biology, including the functional characteristics of cancer stem cells and how they're generated, where they are localized, the means by which cancer stem cells can be targeted, and how cancer stem cells can be reprogrammed back to normal tissue stem cells. Each chapter begins with a brief historical note and concept summary, followed by a description of the latest basic or clinical advance associated with the topic. Cancer Stem Cells builds systematically from coverage of the basic research stage to an advanced research level, from clinical relevance to therapeutic potential, and will be a valuable resource for professionals in the fields of cancer research and stem cell biology. During the last decade, the conceptual themes of stem cell biology have been re-applied, with a new vigor, to the field of oncology. The idea that, similar to normal tissues, tumors can be viewed as "complex societies" , where different cell types are generated as the result of multi-lineage differentiation processes, and organize themselves in hierarchical structures, has now entered the realm of solid tumor biology, and altered the way we think of cancer as a disease. Most importantly, the possibility that tumor tissues, similar to normal ones, might be sustained in their long-term growth by a subset of cancer cells endowed with stem cell properties (i.e. a mutated "cancer stem cell" population capable of both aberrant self-renewal as well as differentiation) has important implications for the future development of targeted therapies. In this beautiful book, Dr. Vinagolu K. Rajasekhar ( Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - New York ) thoughtfully weaved together the perspectives and contributions from several of the leading scientists in the field. This book is both an elegant review and a practical guide to the exciting, and still largely uncharted, world of "cancer stem cells" . I praise the editor and the authors for this wonderful endeavor, rich of provocative ideas and challenging concepts, not only for a better understanding of basic cancer biology, but also for the future development of new, more effective, anti-tumor treatments. -- Michael F. Clarke, MD., Stanford University, Stanford, CA. USA. "The cancer stem cell (CSC) concept posits that not all cells in tumors are equal, but that dedicated cells fuel tumor growth. A major attraction of the CSC concept rests in the explanations it provides for several poorly understood clinical phenomena. The CSCs are built to last a life-time, to be resilient to electromagnetic and chemical insults, to be able to slumber for prolonged periods of time and to colonize other parts of the body. Thus, the CSC hypothesis explains why a cancer patient should never be considered cured, even when the initial response to radiation or chemo-therapy is encouragingly robust. The concept guides the development of more effective treatments, targeting the 'beating heart' of the tumor: the CSC. This authoritative book, written by a range of world-leading cancer researchers, provides a comprehensive overview of the cancer stem cell, its microenvironment, and how these insights will lead to novel clinical strategies." -- Hans Clevers, MD., PhD., Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht. The Netherlands. "The nature and clinical relevance of cancer stem cells are timely topics covered with an appropriately broad and insightful brush in this comprehensive book devoted entirely to this subject. Chapters include emerging provocative evidence that a cancer stem cell, although still necessarily defined operationally, actually refers to a molecular state that may be unstable or altered reversibly. In this respect, the cancer stem cell field has entered a new era of complexity building on discoveries of concurrent intrinsic and extrinsic regulators of the stem cell state in normal tissues.