Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) are a subpopulation of tumor cells that have the ability of self-renew, differentiation, and initiation of new tumors. They are resistant to standard cytotoxic chemotherapy and ionizing radiation, and are common cause for metastases formation. Therefore, this makes them an important target for the development of novel therapies. Cancer stem cells have been identified and isolated from many solid tumors, including - brain, breast, lung, colon etc. It is shown that when grown in non-adherent serum-free environment CSCs have the ability to form multicellular three-dimensional spheres (tumorspheres) in vitro.
Tumorsphere cultivation is based on culturing cancer cells onto ultralow attachment surface in serum-free media under the supplementation with growth factors. This method is widely used to analyze the self-renewal capability of CSCs and to enrich these cells from bulk cancer cells. It also provides a reliable platform for screening potential anti-CSC agents. The in vitro anti-proliferation activity of potential agents selected from tumorsphere assay is more translatable into in vivo anti-tumorigenic activity compared with general monolayer culture. Tumorsphere assay can also measure the outcome of clinical trials for potential anti-cancer agents. In addition, tumorsphere assay may be a promising strategy in the innovation of future cancer therapeutics and may help in the screening of anti-cancer small-molecule chemicals.
Fidelis Research strives to offer a wide variety of 3D tumorsphere cultures composed of cancer stem cells isolated from broad assortment of solid tumors.