Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a small subpopulation of cells within tumors with capabilities of self-renewal, differentiation,
and tumorigenicity. Successful cancer treatment would need to eliminate CSCs. The CSCs can be identified
and isolated by both CSC-specific cell surface marker expression and functional assay, such as floating spheres, and aldehyde
dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity assay. However, lack of universal expression of surface markers limits their usage
to identify CSCs. Here, we give a brief overview of the current known surface markers of CSCs and associated tumor
types. Finally, the possible reasons for contradiction are discussed in these surface markers. In this review, I not only provide
an overview of the current known surface markers but also highlight the importance of achieving maximal accuracy
of a new marker.
Keywords: Aldehyde dehydrogenase, cancer stem cells, differentiation, surface marker, self-renew.
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