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Recent studies in the field of cancer cell biology have pointed out that the cancer cells having stem cell property in tumor may contribute aggressive phenotypes of cancers. A limited population of cancer cells exhibiting high ability to generate new tumor named “cancer stem cells (CSCs)” has garnered significant attention in these years and was linked with the initiation of primary tumor and cancer cells as well as the successful establishment of metastatic tumors. Based on the theory that stem cells preserve their ability to generate the new clones with different cell lineages because of their pluripotency, CSCs similarly exert its tumorigenicity. Besides, CSCs were shown to highly resist to currently used anticancer drugs and have augmented ability to metastasis. It is worthy highlighted that the CSCs that survive after chemotherapeutic treatment are believed to be the cause of disease relapse. Taken together, these evidences have supported the development of CSC-based targeted therapy. This review aimed at describing the fundamental information regarding the role of CSCs in lung cancer and its cellular signaling that may benefit the understanding and support the development of CSC-targeting research.
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