Targeting cancer stem cells in the clinic: Current status and perspectives.
Resistance to chemotherapy and cancer relapse are major clinical challenges attributed to a sub population of cancer stem cells (CSCs). The concept of CSCs has been the subject of intense research by the oncology community since evidence for their existence was first published over twenty years ago. Emerging data indicates that they are also able to evade novel therapies such as targeted agents, immunotherapies and anti-angiogenics. The inability to appropriately identify and isolate CSCs is a major hindrance to the field and novel technologies are now being utilized. Agents that target CSC-associated cell surface receptors and signaling pathways have generated promising pre-clinical results and are now entering clinical trial. Here we discuss and evaluate current therapeutic strategies to target CSCs.