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This book represents an updated summary of the state of the art of the characterization of cancer stem cell/cancer initiating cell (CSC/CIC) properties. Experts provide an overview of the definition and biological properties of CSCs/CICs as well as the role of these cells in determining the resistance to standard and immune-based therapies. It also discusses limitations in the achievement of a definitive biological characterization of CSCs/CICs due to their high extent of plasticity and heterogeneity that is also mutually driven by the interaction of these cells with the tumor microenvironment. The limitations in targeting CSCs/CICs with immunotherapy are also explained together with explorative combination approaches that could increase the susceptibility of these cells to the recognition by immune cells.
This book is conceived for a broad audience, including students, teachers, scientific experts. The critical revision of available results in terms of immunological profile of CSCs/CICs and the efficacy in targeting these cells by immunological approaches, results in a comprehensive and up to date recapitulation of the field and provides interesting suggestions on how to focus future investigations in order to assess the role of CSCs/CICs as prognostic and predictive biomarkers of responsiveness to therapies for cancer patients.