Published online Dec 27, 2011. doi: 10.5496/wjmg.v1.i1.11
Revised: October 24, 2011
Accepted: December 17, 2011
Published online: December 27, 2011
Identification of the cell origin of human neoplasms remains a challenging but important task in cancer research. The outcomes in this area of study may allow us to design novel strategies for early cancer detection and targeted cancer therapeutics. Skin is a great organ to study cancer stem cells because stem cells in skin have been well investigated and approaches of genetic manipulation in specific cell compartments are available to mimic clinical skin cancer in a mouse model. Recently, by using different genetic engineered mouse models, several groups have tried to discover which cell type in skin was responsible for the initiation of basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer. These studies raised more questions but also showed more ways for future investigation.