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Cancers (Basel). 2019 Jun 21;11(6). pii: E862. doi: 10.3390/cancers11060862.

Cancer Stem Cells and Radioresistance: DNA Repair and Beyond.

Author information

1
OncoRay-National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany. Alexander.Schulz@uniklinikum-dresden.de.
2
Laboratory of Radiobiology & Experimental Radiooncology, Department of Radiotherapy and Radiooncology, Center of Oncology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20251 Hamburg, Germany. fe.meyer@uke.de.
3
OncoRay-National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany. anna.dubrovska@oncoray.de.
4
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Institute of Radiooncology-OncoRay, 01328 Dresden, Germany. anna.dubrovska@oncoray.de.
5
German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Partner Site Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany. anna.dubrovska@oncoray.de.
6
German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. anna.dubrovska@oncoray.de.
7
Laboratory of Radiobiology & Experimental Radiooncology, Department of Radiotherapy and Radiooncology, Center of Oncology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20251 Hamburg, Germany. borgmann@uke.de.

Abstract

The current preclinical and clinical findings demonstrate that, in addition to the conventional clinical and pathological indicators that have a prognostic value in radiation oncology, the number of cancer stem cells (CSCs) and their inherent radioresistance are important parameters for local control after radiotherapy. In this review, we discuss the molecular mechanisms of CSC radioresistance attributable to DNA repair mechanisms and the development of CSC-targeted therapies for tumor radiosensitization. We also discuss the current challenges in preclinical and translational CSC research including the high inter- and intratumoral heterogeneity, plasticity of CSCs, and microenvironment-stimulated tumor cell reprogramming.

KEYWORDS:

5Rs of radiation biology; DNA repair; cancer stem cells; radioresistance

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