Cancer Stem Cells and Radiotherapy

Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


In clinic, tumor recurrence and metastasis are the major barriers to further improve the overall cancer patients’ survival. The theory of tumor repopulation due to radiation described decades ago is being supported by new experimental data. The heterogeneity of cancer cell populations in a given tumor is recently evidenced by the present of cancer stem cells (CSCs) that are different from other non-CSC tumor cells and maintain unique self-renewal and tumor-initiating phenotypes. The CSCs isolated from many human tumors including the breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) are demonstrated to hold specific characteristics and are demonstrated to be resistant to an array of anti-cancer agents and radiation therapy. In this chapter, a number of prosurvival pathways and biomarkers found in BCSCs will be discussed. Several prosurvival features including CSCs repopulation, DNA repair ability, as well as the HER2-NFκB-HER2 signaling loop in the radioresistant BCSCs will be illustrated. Further clarification of the specific networks associated with the radioresistant phenotype of BCSCs will shed new light on the molecular mechanism of tumor radioresistance, and will help to generate targets to detect and treat therapy-resistant tumor cells.


Breast Cancer Cancer Stem Cell Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutate HER2 Overexpression Breast Cancer Stem Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of California DavisSacramentoUSA

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