Cancer Stem Cells: An Innovative Therapeutic Approach

Roberto Scatena, Patrizia Bottoni, Alessandro Pontoglio, Salvatore Scarà, Bruno Giardina

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Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are gaining prominence in oncology. The characterization of the molecular phenotype of CSCs or “cancer cell-like stem cells” can clarify several intriguing and obscure aspects of cancer pathophysiology (e.g., cancer cell dormancy, chemoresistance and metastasis) and could represent a fundamental advance in terms of early diagnosis and selective therapy for cancer. Moreover, understanding the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms of CSCs can expand the therapeutic applications of normal adult stem cells by reducing the risk of disordered uncontrolled and potentially tumorigenic stem cell differentiation. An explosion of emerging therapeutic and diagnostic options for cancer treatment that selectively target CSCs has occurred in recent years. These include the targeting of cell surface proteins, various activated signaling pathways, different molecules of the stem cell niche and various drug resistance mechanisms. Importantly, approaching cancer research by investigating the pathogenesis of these intriguing cancer cells is increasing the knowledge of the pathophysiology of the disease, emphasizing certain concepts and molecular mechanisms that have been partially neglected and facilitating the understanding of a global vision of complex cancer cell biology.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteAdvances in Cancer Stem Cell Biology
Numero di pagine28
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2012


  • cancer stem cell


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