Cancer stem cells and survival pathways

Dolores Hambardzumyan, Oren J. Becher, Eric C. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Gliomas and medulloblastomas are the most frequent malignant brain tumors in adult and children respectively. Although both tumors arise in the CNS, there is a significant difference in their therapeutic response. Medulloblastomas are relatively curable, while glioblastomas are basically incurable. During the last decade several reports have demonstrated the existence of cancer stem cells in brain tumors, their location and their response to treatment. We have recently described the therapeutic response of medulloblastomas to radiation in their native microenvironment, illustrating how the p53 and Pi3K signaling pathways lead to the evasion of cell death by the nestin-expressing cells in the perivascular stem cell niche, even while the bulk of the tumor succumbs to apoptosis.1 It remains to be determined whether this mechanism of tumor resistance applies to the more complex stem-cell niche and tumor bulk of gliomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1371-1378
Number of pages8
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2008


  • Medulloblastoma
  • Mouse models
  • PI3K pathway
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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