Immunotherapy for the treatment of brain tumor stem cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Malignant glioma, which is resistant to both chemotherapy and radiotherapy, is an extremely refractory brain tumor. In recent years, it has been demonstrated that cancer stem cells exist in various malignant tumors, including brain tumors. Brain tumor stem cells (BTSCs) have been identified using the isolation methods for neural stem cells, and CD133 has been utilized mainly as a BTSC marker. However, CD133-negative BTSCs have recently been revealed, and the existence of various BTSC subtypes has been recognized. More recently, the usefulness of CD15 as a new surface marker of BTSCs has been reported. So far, no BTSC specific-marker has been identified, and therefore, further analyses of the detailed biology of BTSCs are required. Because they are extremely resistant to conventional therapies, the development of therapeutic strategies for BTSCs is needed. Immunotherapy, including vaccine therapy using tumor antigens, is currently under investigation for the treatment of cancers. The mechanism of the cytotoxicity by immunotherapy is different from that of current therapies, and it is therefore expected to be a therapeutic strategy for cancer stem cells, including BTSCs. This article outlines the biology, including the origin of BTSCs and immunotherapy targeting BTSCs, with reference to recent views.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-473
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Nov 1


  • Cancer stem cell
  • Cytotoxic T lymphocytes
  • Glioma
  • Marker
  • Tumor antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Immunotherapy for the treatment of brain tumor stem cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this