Cancer stem cells as a target population for drug discovery.

Future medicinal chemistry

PubMedID: 25367391

Bouvard C, Barefield C, Zhu S. Cancer stem cells as a target population for drug discovery. Future Med Chem. 2014;6(14):1567-85.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been identified in a growing list of malignancies and are believed to be responsible for cancer initiation, metastasis and relapse following certain therapies, even though they may only represent a small fraction of the cells in a given cancer. Like somatic stem cells and embryonic stem cells, CSCs are capable of self-renewal and differentiation into more mature, less tumorigenic cells that make up the bulk populations of cancer cells. Elimination of CSCs promises intriguing therapeutic potential and this concept has been adopted in preclinical drug discovery programs. Herein we will discuss the progress of these efforts, general considerations in practice, major challenges and possible solutions.