Therapeutic targeting of cancer stem cells can be investigated by screening of chemical or small molecule compounds library. The show case study came up a year ago and demonstrated feasibility of this approach.
Recent study, published in EMBO Molecular Medicine, extends this approach to neuroblastoma in children.
Here, we describe a strategy to identify compounds that selectively target patient-derived cancer stem cell-like tumour-initiating cells (TICs) while sparing normal paediatric stem cells (skin-derived precursors, SKPs) and characterize two therapeutic candidates.
Methodologically, tested cancer stem cell line was derived from bone metastases of neuroblastoma (NB) patient:
NB TICs cultured from bone marrow metastases of a multiple-relapse NB patient (NB12) were treated with 4383 compounds from the LOPAC1280â„¢ compound library, the Prestwick Chemical Library and the Spectrum Collection. Normal human paediatric SKP cells (FS90) were tested in parallel as a counterscreen to identify compounds that are selectively cytotoxic or cytostatic against NB TICs.
I think, companies should pick up this kind of approach for in vitro and in vivo high-throughput screening for new anti-cancer drugs.
You can find the article in open access.