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Cancer stem cells (CSC) have unique characteristics which include self-renewal, multi-directional differentiation capacity, quiescence/dormancy, and tumor-forming capability. These characteristics are referred to as the "stemness" properties. Tumor microenvironment contributes to CSC survival, function, and remaining them in an undifferentiated state. CSCs can form malignant tumors with heterogeneous phenotypes mediated by the tumor microenvironment. Therefore, the crosstalk between CSCs and tumor microenvironment can modulate tumor heterogeneity. CSCs play a crucial role in several biological processes, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), autophagy, and cellular stress response. In this chapter, we focused characteristics of cancer stem cells, reprogramming strategies cells into CSCs, and then we highlighted the contribution of CSCs to therapy resistance and cancer relapse and their potential of therapeutic targeting of CSCs. © 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


Meryem Osum, Rasime Kalkan. Cancer Stem Cells and Their Therapeutic Usage. Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 2023;1436:69-85

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PMID: 36689167

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