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Mitochondria in cancer stem cells: a target for therapy.

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CNC - Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra. 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal.


Complete knowledge about the evolution of the carcinogenic process has to include cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are essential to understand tumor occurrence, recurrence, and also its reduction rate after radio- and/or chemotherapeutic treatments. Understanding CSCs physiology and metabolism may be crucial for the development of novel effective therapies. Therefore, being mitochondria an undeniable target for cancer therapy and a central hub in metabolism and cell and death decisions, it is essential to take this organelle into account and explore its actions and involvements in the context of CSCs physiology. In this review, we focus on recent patents and discoveries about mitochondrial bioenergetics and physiology of CSCs. A full understanding of the role of mitochondrial activity in CSCs and the creation of new strategies, methods and discoveries to support actual treatments with novel ones are of pivotal importance in order to ultimately eradicate cancer.

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