CD133, selectively targeting the root of cancer

Jörg U. Schmohl, Daniel A Vallera

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Cancer stem cells (CSC) are capable of promoting tumor initiation and self-renewal, two important hallmarks of carcinoma formation. This population comprises a small percentage of the tumor mass and is highly resistant to chemotherapy, causing the most difficult problem in the field of cancer research, drug refractory relapse. Many CSC markers have been reported. One of the most promising and perhaps least ubiquitous is CD133, a membrane-bound pentaspan glycoprotein that is frequently expressed on CSC. There is evidence that directly targeting CD133 with biological drugs might be the most effective way to eliminate CSC.We have investigated two entirely unrelated, but highly effective approaches for selectively targeting CD133. The first involves using a special anti-CD133 single chain variable fragment (scFv) to deliver a catalytic toxin. The second utilizes this same scFv to deliver components of the immune system. In this review, we discuss the development and current status of these CD133 associated biological agents. Together, they show exceptional promise by specific and efficient CSC elimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016


  • BIKE
  • CD133
  • Cancer stem cell
  • Relapse
  • Targeted therapies

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