Development of Targeting Strategies against Cancer Stem Cells
1The John van Geest Cancer Research Centre, Nottingham Trent University
Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) or Cancer-Initiating Cells are responsible for disease recurrence in patients with cancer following chemotherapy or radiotherapy and are responsible for ~90% of cancer-related deaths.Like their stem cell counterparts, CSCs possess the ‘stemness’ properties that are reflected in a capacity to self-renew and generate differentiated cells that contribute to tumour heterogeneity. CSCs appear to be generated from mutations affecting adult stem cells that are at the source of organogenesis and tissue homeostasis. Although several biomarkers of CSCs have been identified, the specificity of their expression remains a concern,and so their use as therapeutic targets is problematic. Consequently, there is a great unmet clinical need to identify specific CSCs biomarkers that can be used as a basis for new and more effective targeted cancer therapies. To contribute to this effort, we are developing efficient tools for the clinical evaluation of patients (diagnostic, prognostic and predictive) and therapeutic strategies that can effectively target cancer stem cells and prevent disease recurrence.
Keywords: Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs); Biomarkers; Chemoresistance; Metastasis; Targeted therapies.