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Cancer Stem Cells: From Birth to Death

  • Autori: Turdo, Alice; Gaggianesi, Miriam; Chinnici, Aurora; Stassi, Giorgio; Todaro, Matilde
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2019
  • Tipologia: Capitolo o Saggio
  • OA Link:


Abstract Conspicuous investigations have proven the role of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in the onset and progression of a plethora of liquid and solid neoplasms. CSCs are endowed with the capability of initiating tumor growth and becoming dormant at distant organ sites just waiting for optimal conditions amenable for metastatic outgrowth. This cancer subpopulation is inherently resistant to anticancer therapeutics, and its targeting could avoid metastatic disease, which is largely incurable, and clinical relapses. CSCs are considered the Achilles heel of cancer. However, many efforts are necessary to identify univocal CSC markers as well as specific CSC biomarkers of therapeutic response. Here, we summarize CSCs’ peculiarities and highlight novel anticancer compounds coping with the hallmarks of CSCs, comprising the resistance to cell death, their quiescent state, the immune suppression, the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), and their metabolic adaptation to a hostile microenvironment.