- Prof. Shi-Ming Tu
- Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.
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Special Issue Introduction
Nowadays, many people are aware but may not realize the enormity of cancer care in our lives and in our society. For those of us who live with cancer, it feels like we are in a perpetual nightmare. For most of us who deal with cancer, it seems like we live in the twilight zone.
This special issue of “Cancer Stem Cells in Cancer Progression and Therapy” in The Journal of Cancer Metastasis and Treatment may serve as a wake-up call, perhaps a rude awakening, in our perennial ambivalence and an eventual epiphany about cancer.
The idea of cancer stem cells is provocative; it is compatible with a universal theory of cancer that unites all cancer hallmarks, including metastasis, heterogeneity, dormancy, and immunity. The evidence for cancer stem cells is convincing; it is consistent with a unified cancer theory that connects genetics with epigenetics, molecular with cellular, and unicellular with multicellular.
Importantly, the idea of and the evidence for cancer stem cells may empower us to transcend conventional perspectives and transform established narratives. It will enable us to reconsider integrative medicine versus precision medicine, reconstruct multimodal therapy versus targeted therapy, and revisit therapy development versus drug development.
When we recognize that cancer is a stem-cell disease and has a stem-ness origin, we realize that cancer stem cells are in their very seeds and at their very core. We hope that the idea of and the evidence for cancer stem cells in this special issue will instigate an unraveling of intractable scientific controversies and catalyze the unfolding of a major paradigm shift that revolutionizes our conduct of cancer research and our practice of cancer care. Ultimately, it will facilitate the discovery of effective multimodal strategies and combined therapeutic regimens that provide patients with a superior clinical outcome and higher cure rate with less risk, cost, and angst.
Submission Deadline31 May 2022