About this Research Topic
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a small subpopulation of tumor cells that have the potential for self-renewal, differentiation and de-differentiation, which have a tumor-initiating capacity and play crucial roles in tumor metastasis, relapse and chemo/radio-resistance. CSCs reside in the CSC niche, which provides specific microenvironments to maintain and promote the self-renewal and multilineage differentiation potential of CSCs. Meanwhile, CSCs can undergo epigenetic, epithelial-mesenchymal, immunological and metabolic reprogramming to adapt to the tumor microenvironment and survive host defense or therapeutic insults. Many cell types are involved in the tumor microenvironment such as immune cells and nerves. Several immune cells contribute to the chronic inflammatory status of the CSC microenvironment, enhancing tumor proliferation, invasion and metastasis. High intratumoral nerve density correlates with poor prognosis and high recurrence across multiple solid tumor types.
Numerous studies over the last decade suggested that the complex crosstalk between immune microenvironment and CSCs sustains the stemness and self-renewal ability of CSCs, and eventually promotes tumorigenesis, metastasis, relapse and chemoresistance. However, the detailed mechanisms of immune microenvironment on the self-renewal and reprogramming of CSCs are still elusive, and the role of CSCs in shaping immune microenvironment is poorly understood, a better understanding of their interplay might be the key to an improved targeted therapy of CSCs or immune microenvironment in the cancer research. Importantly, whether infiltrating nerves directly influence the CSCs needs more exploration. The goal of this Research Topic is to consolidate our understanding on the self-renewal and reprogramming of CSCs and their relationships with immune cells or nerves in the tumor microenvironment.
We aim to gather a comprehensive list of articles related to basic, translational, and clinical research of the self-renewal and reprogramming of CSCs and their association with immune cells or nerves in the tumor microenvironment. We welcome submissions of Original Research, Review and Mini-Review articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:
1. Self-renewal and stemness maintenance of CSCs.
2. New subpopulation of CSCs identified by novel markers and heterogeneity of CSCs.
3. Origins of CSCs.
4. Interaction of CSCs with the tumor immune microenvironment.
5. Reprogramming of CSCs regulated by the tumor immune microenvironment.
6. The influence of infiltrating nerves on CSCs.
7. CSCs in the nervous system.
Keywords: cancer stem cells, tumor immune microenvironment, self-renewal, stemness, reprogramming
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