Signaling Pathways Associated with Cancer Stem Cells Play a Significant Role in Immunotherapy Resistance

Yajuan Zhu (Department of Biotherapy and Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China.)
Yuwen Zhou (Department of Biotherapy and Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China.)
Yao Xie (Department of Dermatovenerology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China)
Pan Song (Department of Urology, Institute of Urology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041, Sichuan Province, China.)
Xuelei Ma (Department of Biotherapy and Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China.)

Article ID: 1409


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a subpopulation of tumor cells with properties of self-renewal, pluripotency, plasticity, and differentiation, and are associated with various aberrantly stimulated signaling pathways. They are responsible for tumor recurrence, distant metastasis, and drug resistance, thus inducing poor prognosis. Immunotherapy has achieved encouraging results. However, the resistance associated with its clinical application is a persistent problem in clinical and scientific researches. Increasing evidence shows that signaling pathways associated with CSCs mediate immunotherapy resistance. This review highlights the link between them, and focuses on the underlying mechanism so as to provide potential strategies and approaches for the development of new targets against the immune resistance challenge.


Checkpoint inhibitors; Cancer stem cells; Signaling transduction; Tumor relapse; Recurrence; Immunosuppression

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