The identification of brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs), the rare cells within a heterogeneous tumor possessing stem cell properties, provides new insights into human brain tumor pathogenesis. We have refined specific culture conditions to enrich for BTICs, and we routinely use flow cytometry to further enrich these populations. Self-renewal assays and transcript analysis by single cell RT-PCR can subsequently be performed on these isolated cells.
1Interdepartmental Program in Translational Biology & Molecular Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, 2Texas Children's Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, 3Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, 4Department of Pathology, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, 5Department of Ophthalmology, Retinoblastoma Center of Houston, 6Baylor College of Medicine, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, 7Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine
A method is described to propagate human retinoblastoma tumors in mice. Tumor cells are directly injected into the eyes of immune deficient mice. Secondary tumors have been successfully established using both cells directly harvested from human tumors and cultured tumorspheres.