It is believed that cancer stem cells are the primary cause of cancer chemotherapy resistance, metastasis and relapse. The cancer stem cells form a small population of cells present in the tumor (accounting for less than 2% of the tumor mass) and have properties which enable them to survive chemo- and radiotherapy. These cells have the ability to self-renew, do not undergo apoptosis, display overexpression of the ALDH1A1 enzyme and ABC genes which encode transport proteins, and furthermore make use of various signaling pathways (Wnt, Notch, Hedgehog). Cancer stem cells may be identified and isolated from the tumor based on the characteristic biomarkers (CD44+, CD133+, CD117+, BMi1, Oct-4, nestin). It has been demonstrated that salinomycin, an antibiotic obtained from Streptomyces albus, eliminates cancer stem cells, which are resistant to treatment with cytostatics. Salinomycin causes apoptosis of these cells through a number of mechanisms, including the disruption of the Na+/K+ ion balance in biological membranes, inhibition of the Wnt pathway and resistance to transporters, increase in the activity of caspases, activation of the MAPKp38 pathway and inhibition of the nuclear transcription factor NF-κB. Salinomycin has an effect on many types of cancer. It may turn out to be a breakthrough in the therapy of chemotherapy-resistant cancers.