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May 2005

Do Neoplastic Stem Cells Underlie the Pathogenesis of Cutaneous Lymphomas?

Arch Dermatol. 2005;141(5):641-643. doi:10.1001/archderm.141.5.641

We would like to comment on the hypothesis proposed by Dr Gniadecki1 in which the cancer stem cell concept was applied to cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). Normal hematopoietic stem cells initially give rise to common myeloid or lymphoid progenitors that are committed to differentiation along the myeloid or lymphoid lineages, respectively. The latter line further differentiates into B and T cells, natural killer cells, and a subset of (lymphoid) dendritic cells. Like their normal counterparts, “cancer stem cells” are postulated to have the capacity for self-renewal by giving rise to other stem cells and to progenitor cells that can undergo differentiation to phenotypically mature, nontumorigenic cancer cells.2 This capacity for self-renewal implies that cancer stem cells are responsible for the initiation, maintenance, and progression of clinical disease.