Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are embryonic stem cell-like cells reprogrammed from somatic cells by four transcription factors, OCT4, SOX2, KLF4 and c-MYC. iPSCs derived from cancer cells (cancer-iPSCs) could be a novel strategy for studying cancer. During cancer cell reprogramming, the epigenetic status of the cancer cell may be altered, such that it acquires stemness and pluripotency. The cellular behavior of the reprogrammed cells exhibits dynamic changes during the different stages of reprogramming. The cells may acquire the properties of cancer stem cells (CSCs) during the process of reprogramming, and lose their carcinogenic properties during reprogramming into a cancer-iPSCs. Differentiation of cancer-iPSCs by teratoma formation or organoid culturing could mimic the process of tumorigenesis. Some of the molecular mechanisms associated with cancer progression could be elucidated using the cancer-iPSC model. Furthermore, cancer-iPSCs could be expanded in culture system or bioreactors, and serve as cell sources for research, and as personal disease models for therapy and drug screening. This article introduces cancer studies that used the cell reprogramming strategy.
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