Method to convert stem cells into cancer stem cells

Said M. Afify, Ling Chen, Ting Yan, Anna Sanchez Calle, Neha Nair, Chikae Murakami, Maram H. Zahra, Nobuhiro Okada, Yoshiaki Iwasaki, Akimasa Seno, Masahura Seno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The cancer stem cell (CSC) hypothesis suggests that tumors are sustained exclusively by a small population of the cells with stem cell properties. CSCs have been identified in most tumors and are responsible for the initiation, recurrence, and resistance of different cancers. In vitro CSC models will be of great help in revisiting the mechanism of cancer development, as well as the tumor microenvironment and the heterogeneity of cancer and metastasis. Our group recently described the generation of CSCs from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which were reprogrammed from normal cells, and/or embryonic stem cells (ESCs). This procedure will improve the understanding of the essential niche involved in cancer initiation. The composition of this cancer-inducing niche, if identified, will let us know how normal cells convert to malignant in the body and how, in turn, cancer prevention could be achieved. Further, once developed, CSCs demonstrate the ability to differentiate into endothelial cells, cancer-associated fibroblasts, and other phenotypes establishing the CSC niche. These will be good materials for developing novel cancer treatments. In this protocol, we describe how to handle mouse iPSCs/ESCs and how to choose the critical time for starting the conversion into CSCs. This CSC generation protocol is essential for understanding the role of CSC in cancer initiation and progress.

Original languageEnglish
Article number71
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalMethods and Protocols
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


  • Cancer stem cells
  • Conditioned medium (CM)
  • Embryonic stem cells (ESCs)
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)


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