Pusan National University,
Keywords: cancer stem cells, combination therapy, immunotherapy
Summary:Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are one of the reasons for the relapse of cancer cells and metastasis. They have drug resistance against most chemotherapeutic agents. CSCs are also responsible for tumor cell heterogeneity and cause minimal residual disease. In order to achieve complete regression of tumors, CSCs have to be targeted. Recent advances in immunotherapies have shown promising outcomes in curing cancer, which are also applicable to target CSCs. CSCs express immune markers and exhibit specific immune characteristics in various cancers, which can be used in immunotherapies to target CSCs in the tumor microenvironment. Recently, various strategies have been used to target CSCs. Adaptive T-cells, dendritic cell (DC)-based vaccines, oncolytic viruses, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and combination therapies are now being used to target CSCs. Here, the feasibility of these immunological approaches and the recent trends in immunotherapies to target CSCs will be discussed.