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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016, Article ID 1716341, 10 pages
Review Article

Bypassing Mechanisms of Mitochondria-Mediated Cancer Stem Cells Resistance to Chemo- and Radiotherapy

1International Clinical Research Center, St. Anne’s University Hospital, Masaryk University, Kamenice 5/A7, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic
2Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics, Novosibirsk, Russia
3Oncology and Pathology Group, Institut de Recerca Hospital Vall d’Hebron, Passeig Vall d’Hebron 119-129, 08035 Barcelona, Spain

Received 19 June 2015; Revised 24 August 2015; Accepted 25 August 2015

Academic Editor: Amit Tyagi

Copyright © 2016 Alex Lyakhovich and Matilde E. Lleonart. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are highly resistant to conventional chemo- and radiotherapeutic regimes. Therefore, the multiple drug resistance (MDR) of cancer is most likely due to the resistance of CSCs. Such resistance can be attributed to some bypassing pathways including detoxification mechanisms of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RO/NS) formation or enhanced autophagy. Unlike in normal cells, where RO/NS concentration is maintained at certain threshold required for signal transduction or immune response mechanisms, CSCs may develop alternative pathways to diminish RO/NS levels leading to cancer survival. In this minireview, we will focus on elaborated mechanisms developed by CSCs to attenuate high RO/NS levels. Gaining a better insight into the mechanisms of stem cell resistance to chemo- or radiotherapy may lead to new therapeutic targets thus serving for better anticancer strategies.