Colorectal carcinoma (CRC) is one of the most fatal types of cancer in both women and men, and, unfortunately, patients are often diagnosed at an advanced stage. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are associated with poor prognosis, metastasis, and recurrence, as well as chemotherapy and radiotherapy resistance. Therefore, different treatment alternatives are needed to facilitate the elimination of CSCs. One such approach is immunotherapy; however, tumor cells can evade immune cells by alteration of the expression patterns of human leukocyte antigens (HLA). In this study, we immunohistochemically investigated the expression patterns of CSC-specific markers CD44, CD133, Nanog, and Oct3/4, and immunosuppressive molecules HLA-G and -E in advanced CRC tumor tissues and noncancerous colon biopsies. We found significantly increased CD44, Nanog, Oct3/4, HLA-G, and HLA-E expression in the CRC tumor tissues compared with the noncancerous colon biopsies. These findings suggest that some tumor cells may be CSC-like and that the increased expression of HLA-G and HLA-E may be considered as an immune-evasive adaptation. Therefore, the nonclassical major histocompatibility complex class Ib antigens HLA-G and HLA-E may be potential targets in the elimination of CRC-CSCs. However, more detailed studies are required to support our findings. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.