Niche-dependent tumorigenic capacity of malignant ovarian ascites-derived cancer ceil subpopulations

Ehood Katz, Karl Skorecki, Maty Tzukerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Purpose: In previous studies, we have used human embryonic stem cells (hESC) to generate a tissue microenvironment in immunocompromised mice as an experimental approach for studying human tumorigenesis. We now examine the attributes of such a cellular microenvironment in supporting the growth of human cancer cells freshly harvested from malignant ovarian ascites and to determine whether there are differences among subsets of ascites-derived cancer cells in terms of tumorigenic capacity in the conventional murine xenograft model and in the hESC-derived microenvironment. Experimental Design: Freshly harvested malignant ovarian ascites-derived cancer cells and six derivative ovarian cancer cell subpopulations (CCSP) were characterized for ovarian cancer associated biomarker expression both in vitro and in vivo and for their capacity to generate tumors in the two models. Results: Ovarian cancer-associated biomarkers were detected in the ascites-derived cancer cells and in the six newly established CCSPs. Nevertheless, certain CCSPs that did not develop into tumors in a conventional murine xenograft model did generate tumors in the hESC-derived cellular microenvironment, indicating variable niche dependency for the tumorigenic capacity of the different CCSPs. The hESC-derived microenvironment provided an improved niche for supporting growth of certain tumor cell subpopulations. Conclusions: The results highlight the experimental utility of the hESC-derived cellular microenvironment to enable functional distinction of CCSPs, including the identification of cells that do not grow into a tumor in the conventional direct tumor xenograft platform, thereby rendering such cells accessible to characterization and testing of anticancer therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-80
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Niche-dependent tumorigenic capacity of malignant ovarian ascites-derived cancer ceil subpopulations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this