Published online Aug 26, 2019. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v11.i8.519
Peer-review started: February 22, 2019
First decision: June 3, 2019
Revised: June 12, 2019
Accepted: June 20, 2019
Article in press: June 20, 2019
Published online: August 26, 2019
Core tip: With the advancement of technology, the importance of deciphering the roles of stem cells in normal and malignant intestinal biology has grown tremendously. Aided by several molecular and environmental factors, evidence suggests that colorectal cancer stem cells exploit the intestinal cellular framework causing the development and spread of the disease, simultaneously promoting a poor prognosis through drug resistance and recurrence-based events. Only by a better understanding of the biology of these cells can there be an improvement in the strategies associated with clinical monitoring and therapeutic targeting required for disease management.