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Oncology - Radiology and Medical Imaging

Nonadhesive Culture System as a Model of Rapid Sphere Formation with Cancer Stem Cell Properties
Published: Thursday, February 16, 2012
Author: Su-Feng Chen et al.

by Su-Feng Chen, Yun-Ching Chang, Shin Nieh, Chia-Lin Liu, Chin-Yuh Yang, Yaoh-Shiang Lin


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) play an important role in tumor initiation, progression, and metastasis and are responsible for high therapeutic failure rates. Identification and characterization of CSC are crucial for facilitating the monitoring, therapy, or prevention of cancer. Great efforts have been paid to develop a more effective methodology. Nevertheless, the ideal model for CSC research is still evolving. In this study, we created a nonadhesive culture system to enrich CSCs from human oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines with sphere formation and to characterize their CSC properties further.


A nonadhesive culture system was designed to generate spheres from the SAS and OECM-1 cell lines. A subsequent investigation of their CSC properties, including stemness, self-renewal, and chemo- and radioresistance in vitro, as well as tumor initiation capacity in vivo, was also performed.


Spheres were formed cost-effectively and time-efficiently within 5 to 7 days. Moreover, we proved that these spheres expressed putative stem cell markers and exhibited chemoradiotherapeutic resistance, in addition to tumor-initiating and self-renewal capabilities.


Using this nonadhesive culture system, we successfully established a rapid and cost-effective model that exhibits the characteristics of CSCs and can be used in cancer research.