A new prospect in cancer therapy: targeting cancer stem cells to eradicate cancer

Chin J Cancer. 2012 Dec;31(12):564-72. doi: 10.5732/cjc.011.10444. Epub 2012 Apr 13.


According to the cancer stem cell theory, cancers can be initiated by cancer stem cells. This makes cancer stem cells prime targets for therapeutic intervention. Eradicating cancer stem cells by efficient targeting agents may have the potential to cure cancer. In this review, we summarize recent breakthroughs that have improved our understanding of cancer stem cells, and we discuss the therapeutic strategy of targeting cancer stem cells, a promising future direction for cancer stem cell research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • Drug Carriers
  • Gold / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Nanostructures
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells* / drug effects
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells* / pathology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Drug Carriers
  • Gold