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Title: Cancer stem cells : emerging key players in immune evasion of cancers
Authors: Lei, MML 
Lee, TKW 
Issue Date: Jun-2021
Source: Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, June 2021, v. 9, 692940
Abstract: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are subpopulations of undifferentiated cancer cells within the tumor bulk that are responsible for tumor initiation, recurrence and therapeutic resistance. The enhanced ability of CSCs to give rise to new tumors suggests potential roles of these cells in the evasion of immune surveillance. A growing body of evidence has described the interplay between CSCs and immune cells within the tumor microenvironment (TME). Recent data have shown the pivotal role of some major immune cells in driving the expansion of CSCs, which concurrently elicit evasion of the detection and destruction of various immune cells through a number of distinct mechanisms. Here, we will discuss the role of immune cells in driving the stemness of cancer cells and provide evidence of how CSCs evade immune surveillance by exerting their effects on tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), dendritic cells (DCs), myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), T-regulatory (Treg) cells, natural killer (NK) cells, and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). The knowledge gained from the interaction between CSCs and various immune cells will provide insight into the mechanisms by which tumors evade immune surveillance. In conclusion, CSC-targeted immunotherapy emerges as a novel immunotherapy strategy against cancer by disrupting the interaction between immune cells and CSCs in the TME.
Keywords: Cancer
Cancer stem cells
Immune cells
Immune evasion
Tumor microenvironment
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Journal: Frontiers in cell and developmental biology 
EISSN: 2296-634X
DOI: 10.3389/fcell.2021.692940
Rights: © 2021 Lei and Lee. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) ( The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
The following publication Lei MML and Lee TKW (2021) Cancer Stem Cells: Emerging Key Players in Immune Evasion of Cancers. Front. Cell Dev. Biol. 9:692940 is available at
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