Use of cancer stem cells to investigate the pathogenesis of colitis-associated cancer

Julie M. Davies, Rebeca Santaolalla, Maria T. Abreu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Colitis-associated cancer (CAC) can develop in patients with inflammatory bowel disease with long-term uncontrolled inflammation. The mutational history and tumor microenvironment observed in CAC patients is distinct from that observed in sporadic colon cancer and suggests a different etiology. Recently, much attention has been focused on understanding the cellular origin of cancer and the cancer stem cells, which is key to growth and progression. Cancer stem cells are often chemo-resistant making them attractive targets for improving patient outcomes. New techniques have rapidly been evolving allowing for a better understanding of the normal intestinal stem cell function and behavior in the niche. Use of these new technologies will be crucial to understanding cancer stem cells in both sporadic and CAC. In this review, we will explore emerging methods related to the study of normal and cancer stem cells in the intestine, and examine potential avenues of investigation and application to understanding the pathogenesis of CAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)976-983
Number of pages8
JournalInflammatory bowel diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 9 2016


  • APC
  • Lgr5
  • colitis-associated cancer
  • colonoid
  • enteroid
  • inflammation
  • stem cells
  • β-catenin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Gastroenterology


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