Proposed Stem-like Characteristics Corresponding Assays
Tumour initiation/ maintenance of tumour growth In vivo transplantation
The capacity for both symmetrical division (self renewal) and assymmetrical division (differentiation) It is impossible to assay for both attributes in a single cell/assay. Self renewal can be assayed for:
in vitro by the tumour sphere assay [48]
in vivo by serial transplantation
Resistance to Anoikis
(the form of apoptosis induced by cellular detachment)
In vitro Tumour sphere assay [48]
In vivo analysis of circulating tumour cells
Metastasis formation
(Combination of anoikis resistance and tumour initiation)
in vivo metastasis models e.g. by tail vein or intra-cardiac injection
Drug resistance In vitro/in vivo Cell survival following drug treatment
Table 1: Stem-like characterisitics associated with tumour cells and the corresponding assays used to test for them.