Advances in Cancer Stem Cell Therapy: Targets and Treatments
Keerthana Srinivasan and Biswa P. Chatterji
Affiliation: PG Department of Biotechnology, St. Xavier’s College -Autonomous, 5, Mahapalika Marg, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400 001, India.
Keywords: Anti-cancer therapeutics, cancer stem cells, chemotherapy, miRNA, monoclonal antibodies, siRNA, small molecule
Cancer stem cells (CSCs), a highly clonogenic subpopulation of tumour cells are held to be one of the biggest
causes of cancer relapse, metastasis and subsequent mortality. The increasing emergence of evidence in support of the
CSC hypothesis has had dramatic implications on our understanding of disease progression and it also offers us the opportunity
to develop novel therapeutics that specifically target and eradicate these CSCs. Monoclonal antibodies, small molecule
inhibitors, siRNAs and miRNAs are some of the most important molecules in this category. Many of these agents
have the ability to either preferentially seek out and kill the CSCs in a tumour based on their biomarker profiles, gene expression
signatures and active signalling pathways or to bypass the CSCs’ resistance mechanisms and thus prove more effective
as compared to traditional chemotherapy. This review aims to provide an overview of the recent developments in
the field of anti-CSC therapeutics, embodied in the form of patent documents. Patents from WIPO, USPTO, Patentscope
and European patent databases have been consulted; and the current trend and the sheer number of patents and clinical trials
suggests that CSC-specific therapeutics hold great promise for the future of disease management.
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