Drug treatment of cancer cell lines: A way to select for cancer stem cells?

Ilaria Chiodi, Cristina Belgiovine, Francesca Donà, A. Ivana Scovassi, Chiara Mondello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tumors are generally composed of different cell types. In recent years, it has been shown that in many types of cancers a subset of cells show peculiar characteristics, such as the ability to induce tumors when engrafted into host animals, self-renew and being immortal, and give rise to a differentiated progeny. These cells have been defined as cancer stem cells (CSCs) or tumor initiating cells. CSCs can be isolated both from tumor specimens and established cancer cell lines on the basis of their ability to exclude fluorescent dyes, express specific cell surface markers or grow in particular culture conditions. A key feature of CSCs is their resistance to chemotherapeutic agents, which could contribute to the remaining of residual cancer cells after therapeutic treatments. It has been shown that CSC-like cells can be isolated after drug treatment of cancer cell lines; in this review, we will describe the strategies so far applied to identify and isolate CSCs. Furthermore, we will discuss the possible use of these selected populations to investigate CSC biology and develop new anticancer drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1128
Number of pages18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Drug resistance
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Drug treatment of cancer cell lines: A way to select for cancer stem cells?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this