Plasticity and resistance of cancer stem cells as a challenge for innovative anticancer therapies – do we know enough to overcome this?

Authors

  • Agnieszka Knopik-Skrocka Department of Cell Biology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznań, Uniwersytetu Poznańskiego 6, 61-614 Poznań, Poland, Telephone +48 61 829 58 23. E-mail: askro@amu.edu.pl https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4424-685X
  • Alicja Sempowicz Department of Cell Biology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznań, Poland; Section of Regenerative Medicine and Cancer Research, Natural Sciences Club, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, 61-614 Poznań, Poland https://orcid.org/0009-0004-4120-4007
  • Oliwia Piwocka Radiobiology Laboratory, Department of Medical Physics, Greater Poland Cancer Center, Poznań, Poland; Department of Electroradiology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland; Doctoral School, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7343-9872

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17179/excli2024-6972

Keywords:

cancer stem cells, tumor heterogeneity, hypoxia, plasticity, immunosuppression, resistance, therapies

Abstract

According to the CSC hypothesis, cancer stem cells are pivotal in initiating, developing, and causing cancer recurrence. Since the identification of CSCs in leukemia, breast cancer, glioblastoma, and colorectal cancer in the 1990s, researchers have actively investigated the origin and biology of CSCs. However, the CSC hypothesis and the role of these cells in tumor development model is still in debate. These cells exhibit distinct surface markers, are capable of self-renewal, demonstrate unrestricted proliferation, and display metabolic adaptation. CSC phenotypic plasticity and the capacity to EMT is strictly connected to the stemness state. CSCs show high resistance to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy. The plasticity of CSCs is significantly influenced by tumor microenvironment factors, such as hypoxia. Targeting the genetic and epigenetic changes of cancer cells, together with interactions with the tumor microenvironment, presents promising avenues for therapeutic strategies.

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Published

2024-02-29

How to Cite

Knopik-Skrocka, A., Sempowicz, A., & Piwocka, O. (2024). Plasticity and resistance of cancer stem cells as a challenge for innovative anticancer therapies – do we know enough to overcome this?. EXCLI Journal, 23, 335–355. https://doi.org/10.17179/excli2024-6972

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Review articles

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