Immunotherapy Targeted at Brain Cancer Stem Cells

Masahiro Toda*
Department of Neurosurgery, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan

© 2010 Masahiro Toda.;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Neurosurgery,Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan; Tel: 3-5363-3808; Fax: 3-3354-8053; E-mail:


Progress in stem cell research has been associated with the discovery of the presence of cancer stem cells in a variety of malignant tumors, and because these cells are resistant to anticancer agents and radiotherapy, analysis of their properties has been rapidly pursued as an important target for the treatment of cancers, including malignant brain tumors. Brain cancer stem cells (BCSCs) have been isolated from brain tumor tissue and brain tumor cell lines by using neural stem cell culture methods. Analyzing the properties of BCSCs is extremely important to developing treatment methods that target BCSCs. Although no treatment method targeting BCSCs has yet been established, several methods have been proposed based on their cell-biological characteristics. This article describes therapeutic strategies that target drug-resistance molecules and stem-cell-associated molecules as well as immunotherapy targeted at BCSCs.

Keywords: Cancer Stem Cell, Glioma, Immunotherapy, Vaccine.