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Targeting cancer stem cells by using the nanoparticles

Authors Hong I, Jang G, Lee H, Nam J, An SSA

Received 10 May 2015

Accepted for publication 28 July 2015

Published 10 September 2015 Volume 2015:10(Special Issue on diverse applications in Nano-Theranostics) Pages 251—260

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S88310

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Chang Liu

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J Webster


In-Sun Hong,1,2,* Gyu-Beom Jang,1,2,* Hwa-Yong Lee,3 Jeong-Seok Nam1,2

1Laboratory of Tumor Suppressor, Lee Gil Ya Cancer and Diabetes Institute, 2Department of Molecular Medicine, School of Medicine, Gachon University, Incheon, 3The Faculty of Liberal Arts, Jungwon University, Chungbuk, Republic of Korea

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been shown to be markedly resistant to conventional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Therefore, therapeutic strategies that selectively target CSCs will ultimately lead to better cancer treatments. Currently, accessible conventional therapeutic agents mainly eliminate the bulk tumor but do not eliminate CSCs. Therefore, the discovery and improvement of CSC-targeting therapeutic agents are necessary. Nanoparticles effectively inhibit multiple types of CSCs by targeting specific signaling pathways (Wnt/ß-catenin, Notch, transforming growth factor-ß, and hedgehog signaling) and/or specific markers (aldehyde dehydrogenases, CD44, CD90, and CD133) critically involved in CSC function and maintenance. In this review article, we summarized a number of findings to provide current information about their therapeutic potential of nanoparticles in various cancer cell types and CSCs.

Keywords: ALDH, Wnt/ß-catenin, Hedgehog, Notch, TGF-ß signaling, CD44, CD133

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