Ovarian Cancer, Stem Cells, and Bioreactors
Final rept. 1 Apr 2008-30 Sep 2009
PITTSBURGH UNIV PA
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Current therapies in ovarian cancer are limited by the emergence of therapy-resistant cancer cells, also called cancer stem cells, which are often followed by metastatic cancer. As a result, metastatic ovarian cancer remains an incurable disease by current treatment strategies. In our proposal, entitled Ovarian Cancer, Stem Cells and Bioreactors we have looked for cancer stem cells presence in late stage ovarian cancers, when malignant ascites are building up in patients, a recognized poor prognostic indicator of survival. Our results show that an heterogeneous population of tumor cells is present in patients ascites. No clear phenotypes from patients to patients cancer stem cells could be identified, although the presence of CD133 positive tumor initiating cells were found in at least one of the four patients studied. Furthermore, we demonstrate the utility of using bioreactors for the growth and survival of tumor cells. Our vision of being able to perform chemo-sensitivity tests in these bioreactors, in order to guide customized chemotherapeutic drug selection on a patients own tumor cells, is now possible with these preliminary results.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Biological Oceanography