Cancer stem cells: Road to therapeutic resistance and strategies to overcome resistance

Monish Ram Makena, Alok Ranjan, Vani Thirumala, Arubala P. Reddy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Unlike other normal cells, a subpopulation of cells often termed as “stem cells” are long-lived and generate cellular progeny throughout life. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are rare immortal cells within a tumor that can both self-renew by dividing and giving rise to many cell types that constitute the tumor. CSCs also have been shown to be involved in fundamental processes of cell proliferation and metastatic dissemination. CSCs are generally resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, a subset of remaining CSCs after therapy can survive and promote cancer relapse and resistance to therapies. Understanding the biological characteristics of CSCs, the pathways leading to their sustainability and proliferation, and the CSCs role in drug resistance is crucial for establishing novel tumor diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. In this review, we address the pathways that regulate CSCs, the role of CSCs in the resistance to therapy, and strategies to overcome therapeutic resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165339
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • Cancer stem cells
  • Immune-modulation
  • Pathways affecting stem cells
  • Radio- and chemoresistance


Dive into the research topics of 'Cancer stem cells: Road to therapeutic resistance and strategies to overcome resistance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this