Stem cells are undifferentiated or partially differentiated cells that can differentiate into various types of cells and divide indefinitely to produce more of the same stem cell. They are the earliest type of cell in a cell lineage. They are found in both embryonic and adult organisms, but they have slightly different properties in each. They are usually distinguished from progenitor cells, which cannot divide indefinitely, and precursor or blast cells, which are usually committed to differentiating into one cell type.
Cancer stem cells have been believed to be responsible for tumor initiation, growth, and recurrence. Numerous agents have been developed to specifically target CSCs by suppressing the expression of pluripotency maintaining factors Nanog, Oct-4, Sox-2, and c-Myc and transcription of GLI. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have the capacity to differentiate into various types of cells, and a self-renewing resource, and scientists can experiment with an unlimited number of pluripotent cells to perfect the process of targeted differentiation, transplantation, and more, for personalized medicine.