Stanford University Uses Fluidigm Integrated Fluidic Circuits To Help Identify The Source Of Cancer Stem Cell’s Resistance To Radiation

February 19, 2009 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

Fluidigm Corporation announced that Stanford University has used the unique single-cell gene expression capabilities of the company’s integrated fluidic circuits (IFCs) to help identify the source of cancer stem cells’ resistance to radiation. Researchers applied the unique properties of the Fluidigm chip to isolate individual molecules and help prove their working hypothesis on the relative resistance of cancer stem cells to radiation.

In a paper entitled “Association of reactive oxygen species levels and radioresistance in cancer stem cells” published in the February 4, 2009 issue of Nature Magazine, researchers found that there was a protective pathway that shielded the stem cells – even cancer stem cells – from DNA damage. When this pathway was blocked, the cells became more susceptible to radiation treatment.

In a Stanford University press release Robert Cho, MD, a clinical instructor of pediatrics, said “Our ultimate goal is to come up with a therapy that knocks out the cancer stem cells.” Cho and radiation oncologist and post-doctoral fellow Maximilian Diehn, MD, PhD, are co-first authors of the publication. They collaborated with scientists at Stanford and City of Hope National Medical Center to conduct the research. They studied breast epithelial stem cells from humans and mice to unravel why cancer stem cells are more resistant to radiation than other cancer cells.

“Fluidigm’s BioMark™ system was used to identify one of the pathways that helped to explain the radio-resistance of single cancer stem cells. The team was able to then show that by inhibiting this pathway, the resistance was reduced,” said Gajus Worthington, Fluidigm president and CEO. “We’re excited and gratified that Fluidigm technology could help them in their discovery.”

Stanford’s press release ( clarke.html) noted that unlike most cells in the body, which are relatively expendable, stem cells are not that easy to kill. When these researchers looked at gene expression levels: the human breast cancer stem cells were churning out much higher levels of antioxidant proteins than were non-stem cells.

“The resistance observed in the breast cancer stem cells seems to be a similar if not identical mechanism to that used by normal stem cells,” said Michael Clarke, MD, the associate director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine and the Karel H. and Avice N. Beekhuis Professor in Cancer Biology. Clarke, who discovered the first cancer stem cells in a solid tumor, is a member of the Stanford Cancer Center and the senior author of the research.

“Although your body would normally eliminate cells with chromosomal damage, it also needs to spare those cells responsible for regenerating and maintaining the surrounding tissue — the stem cells,” Clarke explained. “It’s protective.”

This protection backfires in the case of cancer, however. “Basically we need to figure out a way to inactivate that protective mechanism in cancer cells while sparing normal cells,” said Clarke. For many patients, it’s a life-or-death question.

About Fluidigm

Fluidigm develops, manufactures and markets proprietary Integrated Fluidic Circuit (IFC) systems that significantly improve productivity in life science research. Fluidigm’s IFCs enable the simultaneous performance of thousands of sophisticated biochemical measurements in extremely minute volumes. These “integrated circuits for biology” are made possible by miniaturizing and integrating liquid handling components on a single microfabricated device. Fluidigm’s IFC systems, consisting of instrumentation, software and single-use IFCs, increase throughput, decrease costs and enhance sensitivity compared to conventional laboratory systems. Fluidigm products have not been cleared or approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as a diagnostic and are only available for research use.




Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Survival Rates Still Low Even Though Cancer Death Rates Dropping Among African Americans Breakthrough’s Comment On New Cancer Waiting Times Statistics For Scotland

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Top Clicks

  • None

Blog Stats

  • 15,662 hits

%d bloggers like this: