摘要： Accumulating evidence suggests that cancer stem cells (CSCs) are heterogeneous populations and their phenotypes are unstable. A number of intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms contribute to CSC phenotypic variation. The existence of various CSC subpopulations which would lead to a rapid relapse after primary treatments might pose a problem for CSC targeted therapeutics. In order to develop more effective approaches to cancer therapeutics, more CSC-related surface markers or targeting molecules, as well as some novel targeting strategies should be explored. This review summarized the origin and performance of heterogeneity in CSCs and discussed their therapeutic implications. (c) 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.