Tumor recurrence and drug resistance are two of the key factors affecting the prognosis of
cancer patients. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a group of cells with infinite proliferation potential
which are not sensitive to traditional therapies, including radio- and chemotherapy. These CSCs are
considered to be central to tumor recurrence and the development of drug resistance. In addition,
CSCs are important targets in cancer immunotherapy because of their expression of novel tumorassociated
antigens, which result from mutations in cancer cells over the course of treatment. Emerging
immunotherapies, including cancer vaccines, checkpoint blockade therapies, and transferred
immune cell therapies, have all been shown to be more effective when they selectively target CSCs.
Such therapies may also provide novel additions to the current therapeutic milieu and may offer new
therapeutic combinations for treatment. This review summarizes the relationships between various
immunotherapies and CSCs and provides novel insights into potential therapeutic applications for
these approaches in the future.
Keywords: Immunotherapy, cancer stem cell, therapeutic application, clinical, target, mechanism.
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