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Stem Cells International
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 5416923, 16 pages
Review Article

Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) in Drug Resistance and their Therapeutic Implications in Cancer Treatment

Soonchunhyang Institute of Medi-bio Science (SIMS), Soonchunhyang University, Asan, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Yun Kyung Lee and Hyog Young Kwon

Received 28 September 2017; Accepted 11 January 2018; Published 28 February 2018

Academic Editor: Pratima Basak

Copyright © 2018 Lan Thi Hanh Phi et al. 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), also known as tumor-initiating cells (TICs), are suggested to be responsible for drug resistance and cancer relapse due in part to their ability to self-renew themselves and differentiate into heterogeneous lineages of cancer cells. Thus, it is important to understand the characteristics and mechanisms by which CSCs display resistance to therapeutic agents. In this review, we highlight the key features and mechanisms that regulate CSC function in drug resistance as well as recent breakthroughs of therapeutic approaches for targeting CSCs. This promises new insights of CSCs in drug resistance and provides better therapeutic rationales to accompany novel anticancer therapeutics.