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Cancer stem cells in the tumor microenvironment

Guest Editors:
Liang Qiao: Westmead Institute for Medical Research and University of Sydney, Australia
Jenny Y. Wang: University of Sydney and Kolling Institute, Australia

BMC Cancer has published this Collection on Cancer stem cells in the tumor microenvironment. We invited contributions on various aspects, including cancer stem cells identification and characterization, self-renewal mechanisms, interactions with the tumor microenvironment, roles in cancer initiation, progression and recurrence, and novel therapeutic strategies.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Liang Qiao: Westmead Institute for Medical Research and The University of Sydney, Australia

Dr Qiao is a Principal Research Fellow and an A/Professor at the Storr Liver Centre, the Westmead Institute for Medical Research, University of Sydney. Dr Qiao received a MD degree in clinical medicine (worked as a Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist for ~10 years) and a PhD degree in Cancer Medicine (2000, USYD). Dr Qiao’s research interests include cancer stem cells, stem cell-based therapies for end-stage liver diseases, and pre-clinical models (e.g, organoids) for liver diseases. He has published >200 papers including in Cell, J Hepatol, Hepatology, Gut, Mol Cancer, Cancer Res, Cancer Letts, BBA Rev on Cancer, and Adv Drug Deliv Rev, and his h-index is 60.

Jenny Y. Wang: University of Sydney and Kolling Institute, Australia

Dr Jenny Wang is Head of the Cancer and Stem Cell Lab, University of Sydney, Australia. She returned to Sydney in 2011 from Harvard Medical School, where she undertook postdoctoral research in leukemia stem cell biology. The main focus of her laboratory is to develop novel therapies targeting leukemia stem cells that are often resistant to chemotherapy and that are now believed to be the root cause of treatment failure and relapse in cancer. 

About the Collection

Cancer stem cells (CSCs), also known as tumor-initiating cells or cancer-initiating cells, are a small subpopulation of cells within a tumor with distinctive characteristics. These cells have the ability to self-renew and differentiate into various cell types that constitute the bulk of the tumor. They are thought to play a critical role in the initiation, growth, and recurrence of cancer. CSCs heavily interact with the tumor microenvironment, including the surrounding stromal cells, blood vessels, and immune cells. These interactions can promote CSC self-renewal, support tumor growth and spread, and shield CSCs from immune attacks. One of the most significant implications of CSCs in cancer therapy is their inherent resistance to standard treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. Conventional treatments typically target rapidly dividing cells, but CSCs are often slow-cycling and possess enhanced DNA repair mechanisms, making them less susceptible to these therapies. Understanding the biology of CSCs may pave the way for the development of targeted therapies designed to eradicate the root cause of cancer, potentially revolutionizing cancer treatment in the future.

In recognition of this relevant field, BMC Cancer has published this Collection which encouraged submissions on:

  • CSC identification and characterization
  • CSC markers and biomarkers
  • Mechanisms of CSC self-renewal and differentiation
  • CSC interactions with the tumor microenvironment
  • Role of CSCs in cancer initiation and progression
  • Strategies to target and eradicate CSCs
  • CSCs and cancer recurrence
  • CSCs and treatment resistance

Image credit: Michael / Generated with AI /

There are currently no articles in this collection.

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of original Research Articles. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select Cancer stem cells in the tumor microenvironment from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.