Cancer stem cell metabolism: Target for cancer therapy

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BMB Reports, ISSN: 1976-670X, Vol: 51, Issue: 7, Page: 319-326

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Young Chan Chae; and Jae Ho Kim
Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - BMB Reports; KOREAN SOCIETY BIOCHEMISTRY & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
article description
Increasing evidence suggests that cancer stem cell (CSC) theory represents an important mechanism underlying the observed failure of existing therapeutic modalities to fully eradicate cancers. In addition to their more established role in maintaining minimal residual disease after treatment and forming the new bulk of the tumor, CSCs might also critically contribute to tumor recurrence and metastasis. For this reason, specific elimination of CSCs may thus represent one of the most important treatment strategies. Emerging evidence has shown that CSCs have a different metabolic phenotype to that of differentiated bulk tumor cells, and these specific metabolic activities directly participate in the process of CSC transformation or support the biological processes that enable tumor progression. Exploring the role of CSC metabolism and the mechanism of the metabolic plasticity of CSCs has become a major focus in current cancer research. The targeting of CSC metabolism may provide new effective therapies to reduce the risk of recurrence and metastasis. In this review, we summarize the most significant discoveries regarding the metabolism of CSCs and highlight recent approaches in targeting CSC metabolism.