Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs), Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) and Their Interplay with Cancer Associated Fibroblasts (CAFs): A New World of Targets and Treatments.


Abstract: The importance of defining new molecules to fight cancer is of significant interest to the scientific community. In particular, it has been shown that cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a small subpopulation of cells within tumors with capabilities of self-renewal, differentiation, and tumorigenicity; on the other side, circulating tumor cells (CTCs) seem to split away from the primary tumor and appear in the circulatory system as singular units or clusters. It is becoming more and more important to discover new biomarkers related to these populations of cells in combination to define the network among them and the tumor microenvironment. In particular, cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are a key component of the tumor microenvironment with different functions, including matrix deposition and remodeling, extensive reciprocal signaling interactions with cancer cells and crosstalk with immunity. The settings of new markers and the definition of the molecular connections may present new avenues, not only for fighting cancer but also for the definition of more tailored therapies

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