The Role of Cancer Stem Cells in Colorectal Cancer: From the Basics to Novel Clinical Trials
EA 3842 CAPTuR “Control of Cell Activation in Tumor Progression and Therapeutic Resistance”, Faculty of Medicine, Genomics, Environment, Immunity, Health and Therapeutics (GEIST) Institute, University of Limoges, 87025 Limoges CEDEX, France
Department of General, Endocrine and Digestive Surgery, University Hospital of Limoges, 87025 Limoges CEDEX, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Marta Baiocchi and Ann Zeuner
Received: 28 January 2021 / Revised: 23 February 2021 / Accepted: 27 February 2021 / Published: 4 March 2021
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) fuel tumor growth, metastasis and resistance to therapy in colorectal cancer (CRC). These cells therefore represent a promising target for the treatment of CRC but are difficult to study because of the complexity of their isolation. This review presents the methods currently used to isolate colorectal CSCs as well as the techniques for characterizing these cells with their advantages and limitations. The aim of this review is to provide a state-of-the-art on the clinical relevance of CSCs in CRC by outlining current treatments for CRC, the resistance mechanisms developed by CSCs to overcome them, and ongoing clinical trials of drugs targeting CSCs in CRC. Overall, this review addresses the complexity of studying CSCs in CRC research and developing clinically effective treatments to enable CRC patients to achieve a short and long-term therapeutic response.