Cancer research has received a fresh impetus from the concept of cancer stem cell (CSC) which postulates the existence of a tumor cell population uniquely endowed with self-renewal capacity and therapy resistance. Despite recent progresses including targeted therapy, lung cancer treatment remains a challenge owing largely to disease recurrence. Providing a conceptual model of tumor resistance and disease relapse, the lung CSC has received extensive attention, leading to a flourishing literature and several ongoing clinical trials. In this study, we will discuss the data suggesting the existence of CSC in lung tumors and the potential clinical utility of CSCs as prognostic markers or cellular targets of new therapeutic strategies. We will also touch on the new fundamental developments of the CSC concept that ought to be considered if the integration of the CSC concept into clinical practice is to be successful and impact on lung cancer treatment.