Researchers at Edinburgh University have devised a new method for producing glioma neural stem (GNS) cell lines from tumours, which they say is simple, efficient and reproducible. The derived cell lines retain the characteristics of the original tumour providing powerful disease models. The cell lines can be differentiated into various neural cell types and are suitable for chemical and genetic screening.
The researchers have shown that a subpopulation of putative cancer stem cells can be isolated from diverse adult and childhood brain tumours. These stem cells can be grown as adherent cultures providing uniform access to growth factors, thus suppressing differentiation and enabling expansion of highly pure and stable populations of stem cells.
These cell lines can be used to develop screening assays to identify potential therapeutics or genetic markers for diagnosis, and to improve selection of appropriate therapeutic regimes for patients with brain tumours.
Applications include the development of high throughput / real-time cell screens; use as an in vitro model to study cell transformation and tumourgenicity; devising personalised treatment strategies; and the identification of genetic markers predictive of brain tumour development.
A patent, “Neural tumour stem cells and methods of use thereof,” (US61/127404) has been filed in Europe, US and Canada with a priority date of 1st October 2007.
Edinburgh University is seeking commercial partners interested in accessing these GNS cell lines for internal use and/or to provide screening services. Four cell lines have been extensively characterised and are available.
For more information, visit the project’s page at: http://www.university-technology.com/details/glioma-derived-neuronal-stem-cell-lines