Stem cell dynamics and pretumor progression in the intestinal tract

Huiying Ma, Folkert H M Morsink, George Johan Arnold Offerhaus, Wendy W J de Leng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Colorectal carcinogenesis is a process that follows a stepwise cascade that goes from the normal to an invisible pretumor stage ultimately leading to grossly visible tumor progression. During pretumor progression, an increasing accumulation of genetic alterations occurs, by definition without visible manifestations. It is generally thought that stem cells in the crypt base are responsible for this initiation of colorectal cancer progression because they are the origin of the differentiated epithelial cells that occupy the crypt. Furthermore, they are characterized by a long life span that enables them to acquire these cumulative mutations. Recent studies visualized the dynamics of stem cells both in vitro and in vivo. Translating this work into clinical applications will contribute to the evaluation of patients’ predisposition for colorectal carcinogenesis and may help in the design of preventive measures for high-risk groups. In this review, we outline the progress made in the research into tracing stem cell dynamics. Further, we highlight the importance and potential clinical value of tracing stem cell dynamics in pretumor progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 23 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Dynamics
  • Pretumor progression
  • Stem cell
  • Trace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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