Review Article

Targeting Cancer Stem Cells: A Solution to Cancer Therapy

Zari Naderi Ghale-noie, Mohammad Amin Kerachian

Zari Naderi Ghale-noie
Medical Genetics Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

Mohammad Amin Kerachian
Medical Genetics Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran. Email: Kerachianma@mums.ac.ir
Online First: May 12, 2016 | Cite this Article
Naderi Ghale-noie, Z., Kerachian, M. 2016. Targeting Cancer Stem Cells: A Solution to Cancer Therapy. The Cancer Press 2(2): 40-44. DOI:10.15562/tcp.17


Over the past several decades, accelerating scientific and technological advances have enabled researchers to make a great quantity of knowledge in the field of cancer biology. Numerous genes, mutant alleles, proteins, and signalling networks involved in the initiation and progression of cancer have been identified and some of the mechanisms deliberating resistance to therapy. Because of the limited efficacy of presently available treatment modalities, the cancer results to death and distress. One of the most important and complicated topics about the cancer is cancer stem cells (CSCs). The CSCs are immortal tumor-initiating cells that share some characteristics with normal stem/progenitor cells. Some of their important characteristics are self-renewal and multilineage differentiation. Since CSCs have potential resistance to chemotherapeutic agents as well as radiation therapy, it makes a serious challenge for current cancer treatments. There are various strategies for eradicating CSCs. Targeting of CSCs usually occurs by pharmacological targeting, immunotherapy and genetic targeting (miRNA,oncolytic virus). More recently, nanomedicine considerably extends the anticancer drugs, treatment strategies, and targeting CSCs. In this field, all currently available strategies could be divided into three major sections: Drug delivery targeting CSCs (nanocarriers such as nanoparticles (NPs), liposomes, micelles, nanotubes and nanogels), targeting genes of drug resistance and destruction the CSCs niches. In this review, we discussed some characteristics of CSCs and their therapeutic strategies.

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