Cancer Stem Cells in Patient Survival and Therapies in Cancer

  • Ying Yang
  • Chao Tian
  • Wen-Jian Meng


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a subpopulation of cancer cells and responsible for stemness properties of cancer cell. It is regarded as one of the major causes of cancer formation, recurrence, and metastasis. Recent studies demonstrated that CSCs are closely related to the prognosis and treatment of many tumors including lung cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, gastric cancer, and melanoma by targeting cell surface markers, signaling pathways, and microRNAs (miRNAs) to affect stemness features of CSCs. In addition, the application of nanotechnology in CSCs also makes it a novel and potential target in therapy of tumor. However, given the limitations of CSCs as mentioned in this paper, its clinical applications as a target of cancer face many challenges. Further research is needed to explore its clinical application as a target for tumor therapy.


Cancer stem cells Cell surface markers Signaling pathway MicroRNA Drug resistance Survival 





ATP-binding cassette


ATP-binding cassette subfamily B


ATP-binding cassette subfamily B member 5


Aldehyde dehydrogenase


ALDH1 family member A1


All-trans retinoic acid


Breast cancer resistance protein


Breast CSCs


Caffeic acid phenethyl ester






Colorectal cancer


Cancer stem cells


Cancer stemlike cells


Circulating tumor cells


Cytotoxic T lymphocytes


Catenin beta interacting protein 1


Dendritic cells


Disease-free survival




Epidermal growth factor receptor


Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition


Epithelial cellular adhesion molecule


Gastric CSCs


Gamma secretase inhibitors


Solid lipid nanoparticles with hyaluronan




HH acyl transferase


Hypoxia-inducible factor


High mobility group AT-hook 2


Lung adenocarcinoma


Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 5


Lung squamous cell carcinoma


Lysine-specific demethylase 1


Mitogen-activated protein kinase


Multiple drug resistance

miRNA, miR



Multidrug resistance-associated proteins


Mammalian target of rapamycin


Notch2 intracellular domain


Non-small cell lung cancer




Overall survival


Proliferating cell nuclear antigen-associated factor


Proliferating cell nuclear antigen




Protein kinase C iota




Low rhodamine 123


Reactive oxygen species


Small cell lung cancer


Spheroid-derived CSCs


Sirtuin 1 and 2




Side population


Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3


Tumor-associated macrophage


Triple-negative breast cancer




Vascular endothelial growth factor


Vasculogenic mimicry



Authors’ contributions: All authors contributed in the writing of this paper. In addition, Y Yang was responsible for writing the manuscript. C Tian helped to search the literatures and revise the manuscript. WJ Meng participated in its design and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying Yang
    • 1
  • Chao Tian
    • 2
  • Wen-Jian Meng
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.Department of Breast Surgery, Sichuan Cancer Hospital, School of MedicineThe University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC)ChengduChina

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