Cancer is a devastating disease that affects millions of people in the world. Our the- pies for tumors have mostly been based on classical chemotherapy and antiproliferative treatments. More recently, directed therapies against a causative oncogene have led to prominent reduction in tumor rates for some cancers. For instance, chronic myelogenous leukemia that is due to a BCR–ABL translocation can be targeted with Gleevec. Despite these advances in individual tumors, a number of patients are treated for their primary tumors and ultimately relapse. Relapsing tumors can be due to resistance to chemotherapy or to antioncogene drugs. Another hypothesis is that heterogeneity in the tumor leads to an inability of classical chemotherapy to completely eradicate all cells of the tumor. This concept of heterogeneity has led some investigators to propose a cancer stem cell model. As patients are treated with chemotherapy, most of the dividing cells are killed, but this leaves a small subset of cells that have the ability to remake the entire tumor. These are cancer stem cells. They possess the signals of self-renewal and yet can also differentiate. If one could understand more about the cells that remain after classical chemotherapy or the cells that can remake the tumor among the heterogeneous population, this information would have a huge impact on our treatment of cancer.
This book is a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of pre-malignant disease, emphasizing common themes in the field, including stem cell biology and histologic modes of cancer progression between the distal esophagus and stomach. Its sixteen chapters discuss metaplastic tissue change in the upper GI, clonalexpansion of early neoplasia, stem cell dynamics in experimental models, pathology of early esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, therapeutic modalities for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, pathology of Barrett’s esophagus, screening, early detection and novel diagnostic tools for Barrett’s esophagus, clonal evolution of Barrett’s esophagus, endoscopic therapeutic modalities of early esophageal cancer, pathology of early gastric cancer, and experimental models for gastric cancer.
Stem Cells, Pre-neoplasia and Early Cancer of the Upper Gastrointestinal Tract is an integrative text on both the current state of translational research on every cancer development of the upper gastrointestinal tract as well as on novel clinical diagnostic and therapeutic modalities. It highlights a rapidly growing field within cancer research and is essential reading for oncologists, biochemists and advanced graduate students alike. Springer’s Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology series presents multidisciplinary and dynamic findings in the broad fields of experimental medicine and biology. The wide variety in topics it presents offers readers multiple perspectives on a variety of disciplines including neuroscience, microbiology, immunology, biochemistry, biomedical engineering and cancer research.
It is my hope that subsequent volumes of the series will join this volume in assisting in the more complete understanding of the causes, diagnosis, and cell-based treatment of major human diseases and debilitating tissue/organ injuries. There exists a tremendous, urgent demand by the public and the scientific community to address to cancer diagnosis, treatment, cure, and hopefully prevention. Stem Cells are nature’s indispensable gift to multicellular organisms, including humans. The contents of the volume are divided into six subheadings: Stem Cell Culture, Bone Marrow Stem Cells, Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Reprogramming and Differentiation of Stem Cells, Treatment, and Transplantation for the convenience of the readers.
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