Non-coding RNAs in human liver malignancies: Critical regulators for cancer stemness?

Fanyin Meng, Heather Francis, Gianfranco Alpini


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have become one of the essential
topics in cancer research over the past few years (1). Present
chemotherapy modalities eliminate the bulk of the tumor cells,
but cannot eliminate a core of these CSCs that have a high
capacity for renewal. Identification of these cells is the first step
in the development of therapeutic modalities (2). CSCs have
been defined as a unique subpopulation in tumors that have the
capacity to initiate tumor growth and sustain tumor self-renewal.
Although evidence has been provided to support the existence of
CSCs in various solid tumors, the identity and functions of liver
CSCs remains unclear.