Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) are those tumour cells, which possess the ability to self-renew, form a new tumour, produce progeny of multiple phenotypes and are responsible for maintaining the growth of the tumour. CSCs have different gene expressions and signalling pathways compared to other tumour cells. The mutation in the CSC gene is the main reason for cancer initiation, progression, metastasis, recurrence and drug resistance. Hence, targeting the CSCs selectively can cure the disease without much damage to the healthy tissues caused by traditional chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Previous works have shown various therapeutic strategies for cancer using new drugs molecules, nanomedicines, specific surface markers of CSCs, modulators of signalling pathways, agents for adjustment of the microenvironment signals, drug-efflux pump inhibitors, manipulators of miRNA expression, inducers of CSCs apoptosis and differentiation. A few selective novel compounds and therapeutic strategies targeting CSCs are presently in preclinical and clinical trials. This chapter highlights the novel strategies targeting CSCs for the successful treatment of cancer. The challenges in the development of new strategies leading to the eradication of cancer and recent patents issued in the area of CSCs targeting are also discussed.
Keywords: Acute myeloid leukaemia, apoptosis, brain cancer stem cells, cancer, breast cancer resistance protein, cancer stem cells, chemoresistance, DNA damage response, glioma stem cells, gold nanoparticles, insulin potentiated therapy, mesoporous silica nanoparticles, metastasis, miRNA, nanomedicine, Pglycoprotein, signalling pathways, siRNA, surface markers, targeted anticancer therapy.