Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a lethal cancer that responds poorly to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Glioma cancer stem cells (gCSCs) have been shown to recapitulate the characteristic features of GBM and to mediate chemotherapy and radiation resistance. Immunotherapeutic targeting of this cell population holds therapeutic promise but must be considered in the context of the immunosuppressive properties mediated by the gCSC. Recent findings have indicated that this goal will be challenging because the gCSC can suppress both the innate and adaptive immune systems by a variety of gCSC-secreted products and cell-membrane interactions. In this review article, we will attempt to reconcile the disparate research findings regarding the potential of immune targeting of the gCSC and propose several novel solutions.
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