Send to

Choose Destination
Immunotherapy. 2010 Mar;2(2):201-11. doi: 10.2217/imt.10.10.

Immune response against tumor antigens expressed on human cancer stem-like cells/tumor-initiating cells.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.


Cancer stem-like cells (CSCs)/tumor-initiating cells (TICs) are a small population of cancer cells that have the properties of tumor-initiating ability, self-renewal and differentiation. These properties suggest that CSCs/TICs are essential for tumor maintenance, recurrence and distant metastasis. Thus, elimination of CSCs/TICs is essential to cure malignant diseases. However, there are several studies reporting that CSCs/TICs are more resistant to standard cancer therapies, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, than non-CSC/TIC populations. How then, can we eliminate CSCs/TICs? Immunotherapy might be the possible answer. In recent analysis, innate immunity (natural killer cells and gammadeltaT cells) and also adaptive immunity (cytotoxic T lymphocyte-based cellular immunity and antibody-based humoral immunity) can recognize CSCs/TICs in vitro efficiently. Furthermore, CSC/TIC-specific monoclonal antibody therapies are also efficient in vivo. In this article, we describe the potency, possibilities and problems of CSC/TIC-targeting immunotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center