Cancer stem cells (CSCs) in a variety of tumor types have intrinsically greater resistance to ionizing radiation (IR) than the remaining cancer cells. Since surviving CSCs have the capacity to regenerate tumor deposits, CSC radioresistance represents an important clinical problem. Here we discuss mechanisms that CSCs employ to resist IR and therapeutic strategies that are currently being used in the clinic or are in various stages of development for overcoming these. While much ongoing work shows promise for increasing the efficacy of IR through rational targeting of CSCs, well-designed clinical trials testing such strategies will be required to bring these approaches into the clinic.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCancer Stem Cells
Subtitle of host publicationEmerging Concepts and Future Perspectives in Translational Oncology
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783319210308
ISBN (Print)9783319210292
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Cancer stem cells
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Surveillance
  • Tumor radioresistance


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