Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are recognized as contributors to cancer progression and therapeutic resistance in liquid and solid malignancies. We analyzed a panel of human colon cancer cell lines for CSC populations by side population and aldehyde dehydrogenase activity. IGF-1 enriches these putative colon CSC populations in a β-catenin-dependent manner. Chemical inhibition of Akt depletes SP cells, and conversely, the overexpression of a constitutively active mutant version of Akt is sufficient to enrich CSC populations. CP-751,871, a fully human antibody with specificity to the IGF-1 receptor, is currently being tested in clinical trials for a variety of solid tumors. CP-751,871 reduces CSC populations in colon cancer cell lines in vitro and reduces tumor growth in vivo. We have identified a novel role for IGF-1 in the enrichment of chemo-resistant CSC populations. Our results suggest that CP-751,871 has preferential activity against putative CSC populations and, therefore, may complement current standard chemotherapeutic regimens that target cycling cells.