Stem cell research is a rapidly developing field that offers effective treatment for a variety of malignant and non-malignant diseases. Stem cell is a regenerative medicine associated with the replacement, repair, and restoration of injured tissue. Stem cell research is a promising field having maximum therapeutic potential. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are the cells within the tumor that posses capacity of selfrenewal and have a root cause for the failure of traditional therapies leading to re-occurrence of cancer. CSCs have been identified in blood, breast, brain, and colon cancer. Traditional therapies target only fast growing tumor mass, but not slow-dividing cancer stem cells. It has been shown that embryonic pathways such as Wnt, Hedgehog and Notch, control self-renewal capacity and involved in cancer stem cell maintenance. Targeting of these pathways may be effective in eradicating cancer stem cells and preventing chemotherapy and radiotherapy resistance. Targeting CSCs has become one of the most effective approaches to improve the cancer survival by eradicating the main root cause of cancer. The present review will address, in brief, the importance of cancer stem cells in targeting cancer as better and effective treatment along with a concluding outlook on the scope and challenges in the implication of cancer stem cells in translational oncology.
Keywords: Cancer, cancer stem cells, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, monoclonal antibodies, natural compounds, stem cell.