The Identifications and Clinical Implications of Cancer Stem Cells in Colorectal Cancer

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Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are cancer cells that are responsible for initiation, progression, metastasis, and recurrence in cancer. The aim of this review was to analyze the markers for identifying of CSCs in colorectal carcinoma, as well as the prognostic and therapeutic implications of these markers in the cancer. CSCs are insensitive to the current drug regimens. In colorectal carcinoma, markers, including Nanog, Oct-4, SOX-2, Lgr-5, CD133, CD24, CD29, ALDH1, EpCAM, CD44, CD166, and CD26, are commonly used for the identification and isolation of CSCs. In addition, ALDH1, CD24, CD44, CD133, CD166, EpCAM, Lgr-5, Nanog, and SOX-2 could have clinical roles in predicting pathological stages, cancer recurrence, therapy resistance, and patients' survival in patients with colorectal carcinoma. In light of the current knowledge of CSCs in colorectal carcinoma, novel potential therapeutic strategies, such as development of monoclonal antibodies or immunotoxins and targeting various cell surface molecules in colorectal CSCs and/or components of signaling pathways, have been developed. This could open new opportunities for the better management of patients with colorectal carcinoma.

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