Thyroid stem cells: lessons from normal development and thyroid cancer

    1. Reigh-Yi Lin1,2,3,4
    1. 1Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Box 1055, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, New York 10029, USA2Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology3Gene and Cell Medicine and 4The Leon D. Black Family Stem Cell Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA
    1. (Correspondence should be addressed to R-Y Lin; Email: reigh-yi.lin{at}


    Ongoing advances in stem cell research have opened new avenues for therapy for many human disorders. Until recently, however, thyroid stem cells have been relatively understudied. Here, we review what is known about thyroid stem cells and explore their utility as models of normal and malignant biological development. We also discuss the cellular origin of thyroid cancer stem cells and explore the clinical implications of cancer stem cells in the thyroid gland. Since thyroid cancer is the most common form of endocrine cancer and that thyroid hormone is needed for the growth and metabolism of each cell in the body, understanding the molecular and the cellular aspects of thyroid stem cell biology will ultimately provide insights into mechanisms underlying human disease.

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