Published in

Frontiers Media, Frontiers in Oncology, (6)

DOI: 10.3389/fonc.2016.00115



Export citation

Search in Google Scholar

Anti-cancer stem-like cell compounds in clinical development - an overview and critical appraisal

Journal article published in 2016 by Fabrizio Marcucci ORCID, Cristiano Rumio, François Lefoulon
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

Full text: Download

Green circle
Preprint: archiving allowed
Green circle
Postprint: archiving allowed
Green circle
Published version: archiving allowed
Data provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


Cancer stem-like cells (CSC) represent a subpopulation of tumor cells with elevated tumor-initiating potential. Upon differentiation, they replenish the bulk of the tumor cell population. Enhanced tumor-forming capacity, resistance to antitumor drugs, and metastasis-forming potential are the hallmark traits of CSCs. Given these properties, it is not surprising that CSCs have become a therapeutic target of prime interest in drug discovery. In fact, over the last few years, an enormous number of articles describing compounds endowed with anti-CSC activities have been published. In the meanwhile, several of these compounds and also approaches that are not based on the use of pharmacologically active compounds (e.g., vaccination, radiotherapy) have progressed into clinical studies. This article gives an overview of these compounds, proposes a tentative classification, and describes their biological properties and their developmental stage. Eventually, we discuss the optimal clinical setting for these compounds, the need for biomarkers allowing patient selection, the redundancy of CSC signaling pathways and the utility of employing combinations of anti-CSC compounds and the therapeutic limitations posed by the plasticity of CSCs.