17. Melanoma Subpopulations with Cancer Stem Cell Phenotypes

  1. Vinagolu K. Rajasekhar
  1. Rajasekharan Somasundaram,
  2. Nicole Facompre and
  3. Meenhard Herlyn

Published Online: 31 JAN 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118356203.ch17

Cancer Stem Cells

Cancer Stem Cells

How to Cite

Somasundaram, R., Facompre, N. and Herlyn, M. (2014) Melanoma Subpopulations with Cancer Stem Cell Phenotypes, in Cancer Stem Cells (ed V. K. Rajasekhar), John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ. doi: 10.1002/9781118356203.ch17

Author Information

  1. Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis Program, Melanoma Research Center, The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 31 JAN 2014
  2. Published Print: 31 MAR 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118356166

Online ISBN: 9781118356203



  • cancer stem cell (CSC) phenotypes;
  • melanoma subpopulations;
  • therapy resistance;
  • tumor subpopulations


Malignant melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer whose incidence continues to increase worldwide. Early detection and excision of primary tumor lesions is the key to successful treatment of melanomas. However, advanced stage melanomas are difficult to treat as the tumors quickly develop resistance to most therapies including newly available targeted drugs. Therapy resistance is attributed to the heterogeneity of melanoma tumors; single agent therapies generally target one subpopulation of tumor cells while leaving others unharmed. The surviving subpopulations retain the ability to repopulate the original tumors, which can then continue to progress. Multiple subpopulations need to be targeted simultaneously to prevent tumor repopulation. Thus, it is essential to have better characterization of melanoma subpopulations in tumor lesions. This will lead to development of rational approaches to target multiple subpopulations of tumor cells with combinations of drugs to obtain long-lasting inhibition of melanoma growth.