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Metabolic Escape Routes of Cancer Stem Cells and Therapeutic Opportunities

  • Autori: Alice Turdo; Gaetana Porcelli; Caterina D’Accardo; Simone Di Franco; Francesco Verona; Stefano Forte; Dario Giuffrida; Lorenzo Memeo; Matilde Todaro; Giorgio Stassi
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2020
  • Tipologia: Review essay (rassegna critica)
  • OA Link:


Although improvement in early diagnosis and treatment ameliorated life expectancy of cancer patients, metastatic disease still lacks effective therapeutic approaches. Resistance to anticancer therapies stems from the refractoriness of a subpopulation of cancer cells—termed cancer stem cells (CSCs)—which is endowed with tumor initiation and metastasis formation potential. CSCs are heterogeneous and diverge by phenotypic, functional and metabolic perspectives. Intrinsic as well as extrinsic stimuli dictated by the tumor microenvironment (TME)have critical roles in determining cell metabolic reprogramming from glycolytic toward an oxidative phenotype and vice versa, allowing cancer cells to thrive in adverse milieus. Crosstalk between cancer cells and the surrounding microenvironment occurs through the interchange of metabolites, miRNAs and exosomes that drive cancer cells metabolic adaptation. Herein, we identify the metabolic nodes of CSCs and discuss the latest advances in targeting metabolic demands of both CSCs and stromal cells with the scope of improving current therapies and preventing cancer progression.