Nanomedicine Vol. 15 No. 28 | Review

The potential of nanomedicine to alter cancer stem cell dynamics: the impact of extracellular vesicles

Summary

The presence of highly resistant cancer stem cells (CSCs) within tumors as drivers of metastatic spread has been commonly accepted. Nonetheless, the likelihood of its dynamic phenotype has been strongly discussed. Importantly, intratumoral cell-to-cell communication seems to act as the main regulatory mechanism of CSC reversion. Today, new strategies for cancer treatment focusing into modulating tumor cell intercommunication and the possibility to modulate the composition of the tumor microenvironment are being explored. In this review, we summarize the literature describing the phenomenon of CSC reversion and the factors known to influence this phenotypic switch. Furthermore, we will discuss the possible role of nanomedicine toward altering this reversion, and to influence the tumor microenvironment composition and the metastatic spread of the disease.

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