Cancer Cell Phenotypes, in Fifty Shades of Grey

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Science  01 Feb 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6119, pp. 528-529
DOI: 10.1126/science.1234415

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Intratumor heterogeneity refers to biological differences between malignant cells originated within the same tumor. Possible explanations for this include genetic heterogeneity (resulting from the inherent genetic instability of cancer combined with evolutionary dynamics) and cell differentiation hierarchies in tumor cell populations (13). However, the results of Kreso et al. (4) on page 543 of this issue strongly suggest that biological differences between tumor cells can be due to additional mechanisms.