The Globe and Mail looks back at the history of cancer stem cell research, a most promising development in the quest to cure cancer: "Dr. Dick's discovery of the first cancer stem cell that year has led to the flurry of recent breakthroughs redefining cancer biology. Scientists once believed all cancer cells could sprout and sustain a tumour. But proof is growing that this deadly power belongs only to a tiny subset of abnormal stem cells that had previously gone undetected. These bad seeds have now been identified as the source of cancers of the blood, breast, bone, prostate, and this week, in another finding from Dr. Dick, the colon. The implications are staggering. Billions of dollars and decades of research may have targeted the wrong cells to cure the disease. No current treatment has been designed to kill them and they appear to be naturally resistant to the gold-standard therapies." Fortunately, the next generation of precisely targeted therapies are the right tools for the job.