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Curr Drug Targets. 2019 Aug 21. doi: 10.2174/1389450120666190821160730. [Epub ahead of print]

Targeting Cancer Stem Cells Pathways for the Effective Treatment of Cancer.

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Laboratory of Organic and Medicinal Chemistry, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Natural Products, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda, Punjab. India.
Ira-Ida Skvortsova, Laboratory for Experimental and Translational Research on Radiation Oncology (EXTRO-Lab), Department of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstr. 35, A-6020 Innsbruck. Austria.


Resistance to chemotherapy and relapse are major hurdles for the effective treatment of cancer. Major reason for this is a small sub population of cancer stem cells (CSCs) and its microenvironment. CSCs are critical driving force for several types of cancer such as gastric, colon, breast and many more. Hence, for the complete eradication of cancer, it is necessary to develop therapeutic approaches that can specifically target CSCs. Chemical agents that target different proteins involved in CSC signaling pathways, either as single agent or parallelly targeting two or more proteins have generated promising pre-clinical and clinical results. In the current review article, we have discussed various targets and cellular pathways that can be explored for the effective and complete eradication of CSCs. Some latest developments in the field of design, synthesis and screening of ligands to target cancer stem cells have been summarized in the current review article.


Cancer stem cells; Hedgehog pathway; Notch pathway; Nuclear factor-kappa-B; Nuclear factor-kappa-Cancer stem cells; PI3K/AKT Pathway; Wnt Pathway

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