Ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas (PDAC) accounts for more than 85% of pancreatic cancer (PC) and is an aggressive malignancy characterized by a high rate of distant metastasis and recurrence. 80% of patients with PDAC are inoperable at diagnosis, and there is no curative treatment for advanced PDAC. A growing number of studies support that cancer stem cells (CSCs) contribute to PDAC initiation, metastasis, and chemotherapy and radiation resistance. In addition to isolating pancreatic CSCs and obtaining sufficient numbers of functional CSCs by induction methods, we also offer detection and identification services for pancreatic CSCs only. Alfa Oncology is a leading global life sciences company. We are committed to advancing the understanding of the biological behavior and molecular pathways underlying the growth, survival, and metastasis of pancreatic CSCs and to developing new targets and therapeutic approaches for PC.
Fig. 1 Sphere of PC cells. (Ishiwata, Toshiyuki, et al., 2018)
The service offering at Alfa Oncology
CSCs are a small population of cancer cells that have the ability to self-regenerate, heterogeneous replication, tumorigenicity, and resistance to apoptosis. There are several commonly used experimental methods to identify CSCs, including sphere-forming assays, the detection of CSC-specific marker expression, and the detection of side population (SP) cells with intracellular to extracellular pumping function. We offer customized and comprehensive pancreatic CSC detection and identification services to meet the specific project needs of our clients. Our services include but are not limited to the following lists:
- Sphere-forming assays
Cell spheres formed by normal or cancerous neural tissues under non-adherent culture conditions indicate their ability to self-renew. In the sphere-formation assay, PDACs are incubated in ultra-low attachment dishes, and the CSCs will form floating colonies. The sphere-forming cells have stem cell capacities and exhibit a higher rate of tumor formation compared to non-spherical cells.
- The detection of surface marker expression.
There are several CSC-specific markers reported in PDACs, including CD24, CD44, CD133, c-Met, CXCR4, epithelial-cell-adhesion molecule (ESA/EpCAM), ATP-binding cassette sub-family G member 2 (ABCG2), ALDH-1, and nestin. Among them, CD133 CD24, CD44, ESA, and CXCR4 are regarded as the major cell-membrane markers of pancreatic CSCs. And the specific roles of these markers need to be further studied. We can detect these markers as described above for our customers.
- The investigation of stem cell properties of the sphere cells
Important markers of embryonic stem cells, such as Oct4 and Nanog are used to evaluate the properties of stem cells.
- Chemotherapy resistance
Chemotherapy resistance is considered a particular characteristic of pancreatic CSCs. Anti-neoplastic drugs such as gemcitabine and 5-FU are used to evaluate the cells' drug resistance.
- The detection of SP cells
SP cells can exclude the DNA dye Hoechst 33342, which is thought to have CSC-like characteristics in some tumors. Hoechst 33342 is added to PDAC cells and then incubated to analyze SP cells.
- Tumorigenicity in vivo
To assess the tumor initiation ability of pancreatic CSCs, the cells are injected subcutaneously into nude mice and tumor growth is observed.
Benefits of our services
- Professional team of scientists and more than ten years of experience in PC cell research
- Customized service to customer satisfaction
- Strictly keep confidential the client's project information and experimental data
- Our customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day from Monday to Sunday
As the scientific machine continues to turn, Alfa Oncology is committed to keeping pace. We continue to expand our services and improve our existing resources to help our customers accelerate their research and support their careers. If you are interested in our services, please feel free to contact us. We are looking forward to working on your next projects!
- Ishiwata, Toshiyuki, et al. "Pancreatic cancer stem cells: features and detection methods." Pathology & Oncology Research 24.4 (2018): 797-805.
- Xu, Zhengyan, et al. "Rapid induction of pancreatic cancer cells to cancer stem cells via heterochromatin modulation." Cell Cycle 17.12 (2018): 1487-1495.