Sporadic cases of colorectal cancer are primarily initiated by gene mutations in members of the canonical Wnt pathway, ultimately resulting in beta-catenin stabilisation. Nevertheless, cells displaying nuclear beta-catenin accumulation are nonrandomly distributed throughout the tumour mass and preferentially localise along the invasive front where parenchymal cells are in direct contact with the stromal microenvironment. Here, we discuss the putative role played by stromal cell types in regulating beta-catenin intracellular accumulation in a paracrine fashion. As such, the tumour microenvironment is likely to maintain the cancer stem cell phenotype in a subset of cells, thus mediating invasion and metastasis.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||British Journal of Cancer|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|