Cancer stem cells (C-SCs) make up a small proportion of the tumour bulk, yet are responsible for the growth and subsequent spread of tumours around the body. These cells are resistant to conventional therapies and consequently are believed to be the primary cause of drug resistance and disease relapse in cancer patients. There is therefore a clear need to identify new therapeutics that specifically target C-SCs. C-SCs are elusive and difficult to trace. This new platform technology aims to track C-SCs in real time using fluorescence microscopy. Small tumours will be grown in the laboratory as ‘organoids’.
The C-SCs within these organoids will be prospectively stained and then monitored over time, pre- and posttreatment with experimental C-SC therapeutic agents. The fate of the C-SCs to treatment will then be assessed simultaneously in multiple organdies. This platform offers the potential to perform medium throughput screens of novel experimental C-SC therapeutics, to identify new approaches to target C-SCs and to help our understanding of C-SC biology.
For further information contact Dr Richard Clarkson, European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, Cardiff University, email@example.com.