Molecular identification and targeting of colorectal cancer stem cells

Oncotarget. 2010 Oct;1(6):387-95. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.101003.

Abstract

Tumor initiating or cancer stem cells (CSCs) are suggested to be responsible for tumor initiation and growth. Moreover, therapy resistance and minimal residual disease are thought to result from selective resistance of CSCs. Isolation of CSCs from colon carcinomas can be accomplished by selection of a subpopulation of tumor cells based on expression of one or multiple cell surface markers associated with cancer stemness, like CD133, CD44, CD24, CD29, CD166 and Lgr5. Identification of colon CSCs will lead to a better rational for new therapies that aim to target this fraction specifically. In this review, we analyze known markers used for selection of colon CSCs and their potential function in CSC biology. Moreover, we discuss potential targeting strategies for eradicating CSCs specifically in order to develop more effective therapeutic strategies as well as to address more fundamental questions like the actual role of CSCs in tumor growth.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism*

Substances

  • Biomarkers, Tumor