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Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2019 Feb 26:165424. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2019.02.019. [Epub ahead of print]

Cancer cells stemness: A doorstep to targeted therapy.

Author information

1
Department of Immunotherapeutics and Biotechnology, and Center for Tumor Immunology and Targeted Cancer Therapy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Abilene, TX 79601, USA.
2
Department of Immunotherapeutics and Biotechnology, and Center for Tumor Immunology and Targeted Cancer Therapy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Abilene, TX 79601, USA. Electronic address: sanjay.srivastava@ttuhsc.edu.

Abstract

Recent advances in research on cancer have led to understand the pathogenesis of cancer and development of new anticancer drugs. Despite of these advancements, many tumors have been found to recur, undergo metastasis and develop resistance to therapy. Accumulated evidences suggest that small population of cancer cells known as cancer stem cells (CSC) are responsible for reconstitution and propagation of the disease. CSCs possess the ability to self-renew, differentiate and proliferate like normal stem cells. CSCs also appear to have resistance to anti-cancer therapies and subsequent relapse. The underlying stemness properties of the CSCs are reliant on multiple molecular targets such as signaling pathways, cell surface molecules, tumor microenvironment, apoptotic pathways, microRNA, stem cell differentiation, and drug resistance markers. Thus an effective therapeutic strategy relies on targeting CSCs to overcome the possible tumor relapse and chemoresistance. The targeted inhibition of these stem cell biomarkers is one of the promising approaches to eliminate cancer stemness. This review article summarizes possible targets of cancer cell stemness for the complete treatment of cancer.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer stem cells; Chemoresistance; Metastasis; Molecular targets; Tumor relapse

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