CSCs are a population of self-renewing and tumor repopulating cells that have been observed in hematologic and solid tumors and their presence contributes to the development of drug resistance. The failure to eliminate CSCs with conventional therapy is one of major obstacles in the successful treatment of cancer. Several mechanisms have been described to contribute to CSCs chemoresistance properties that include the adoption of drug-efflux pumps, drug detoxification pathways, changes in metabolism, improved DNA repair mechanisms, and deregulated survival and pro-apoptotic pathways. Thus, CSCs are therefore an attractive target to develop new anti-cancer therapies.
Keywords: Cancer stem cells [CSCs], chemoresistance, quiescence, heterogeneity, tumors, hypoxia, autophagy.
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