Cancer stem cells and nanotechnological approaches for eradication

Gholam Basati, Mojtaba Khaksarian, Saber Abbaszadeh, Hamed Esmaeil Lashgarian, Abdolrazagh Marzban


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are currently known as the main cause of tumor recurrence. After chemotherapy is completed, CSCs proliferate and then differentiate to generate new tumor tissues. Similar to normal stem cells, this non-uniformly distributed cell population in the tumor tissue has self-renewal capacity and is responsible for survival of the tumor and difference in its genetic and metabolic characteristics. Followed by gene instability in CSCs, new phenotypic markers are aberrantly expressed in CSCs subpopulation. Hence, some of the surface markers and metabolic pathways that are upregulated in CSCs may be applied as specific targets for development of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. In this review article, the distinctive properties of CSCs including signal pathways implicated in self-renewal and surface markers were discussed. Moreover, targeting CSCs based on their specific properties using nanodrugs was reviewed.