Cancer cell dormancy: Potential therapeutic targets to eradicate cancer cells within the niche

Jessian L. Munoz, Jacqueline M. Park, Sarah A. Bliss, Pranela Rameshwar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in the USA. Metastasis and maintenance of breast cancer in the adult bone marrow could result in quiescence with resistance to chemotherapy. These changes are partly due to the interactions between cancer cells and the resident bone marrow cells, especially the cells residing close to the endosteum. Although the literature on cancer stem cells has exploded over the past few years, there is no clear indication that dormancy is exclusive to the stem cell subset of cancers. We discuss a role for the tissue microenvironment in cancer dormancy and also expand on the role of other stem cells. The information on cancer dormancy now has another significant role in medicine—specifically, in the field of stem cell therapy, in which cancer dormancy could be a potential confounder for safe treatment. This chapter discusses the interaction between cancer cells and mesenchymal stem cells. This area of discussion is particularly important considering the ongoing clinical trials with mesenchymal stem cells in which the treatments might be administered to individuals with undiagnosed cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTrends in Stem Cell Proliferation and Cancer Research
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789400762114
ISBN (Print)9789400762107
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone marrow cells
  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer cells
  • Dormancy
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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