Understanding cancer stem cells and plasticity: Towards better therapeutics

Neerada Meenakshi Warrier, Nachiket Kelkar, Carol Tresa Johnson, Thirupugal Govindarajan, Vijendra Prabhu, Praveen Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability of cancer cells to finally overcome various lines of treatment in due course has always baffled the scientific community. Even with the most promising therapies, relapse is ultimately seen, and this resilience has proved to be a major hurdle in the management of cancer. Accumulating evidence now attributes this resilience to plasticity. Plasticity is the ability of cells to change their properties and is substantial as it helps in normal tissue regeneration or post-injury repair processes. It also helps in the overall maintenance of homeostasis. Unfortunately, this critical ability of cells, when activated incorrectly, can lead to numerous diseases, including cancer. Therefore, in this review, we focus on the plasticity aspect with an emphasis on cancer stem cells (CSCs). We discuss the various forms of plasticity that provide survival advantages to CSCs. Moreover, we explore various factors that affect plasticity. Furthermore, we provide the therapeutic implications of plasticity. Finally, we provide an insight into the future targeted therapies involving plasticity for better clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151321
JournalEuropean Journal of Cell Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 06-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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