Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive disease with poor outcome, and lacks targeted therapy. Recent studies suggest that cancer stem cells play an important role in tumorigenesis and tumor biology of TNBC. Both CD44 + /CD24 - and ALDH1 + breast cancer stem cells are enriched in TNBC and may contribute to the propensity of TNBC for chemotherapy resistance and tumor metastasis. There is new evidence to support the evaluation of cancer stem cells in TNBC for diagnostic purposes. Targeting cancer stem cells may also be a promising, novel strategy for the treatment of TNBC. This review highlights the current understanding of breast cancer stem cells in TNBC, with focus on CD44 + /CD24 - and ALDH1 + breast cancer stem cells. It is our hope that this work provides insight into the potential role of cancer stem cells in the prognostication and therapeutic targeting of TNBC.
- breast cancer
- cancer stem cells
- triple-negative breast cancer