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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 760303, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/760303
Research Article

The Low Chamber Pancreatic Cancer Cells Had Stem-Like Characteristics in Modified Transwell System: Is It a Novel Method to Identify and Enrich Cancer Stem-Like Cells?

1The Affiliated Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212001, China
2Department of Histology and Embryology, Center of Clinical Medicine and Laboratory, Jiangsu University, 301 Xuefu Road, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212013, China
3Department of Immunology, Center of Clinical Medicine and Laboratory, Jiangsu University, 301 Xuefu Road, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212013, China

Received 19 August 2013; Revised 30 November 2013; Accepted 11 December 2013; Published 10 February 2014

Academic Editor: Yi-Fang Ping

Copyright © 2014 Dongqing Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) or cancer-initiating cells (CICs) play an important role in tumor initiation, progression, metastasis, chemoresistance, and recurrence. It is important to construct an effective method to identify and isolate CSCs for biotherapy of cancer. During the past years, many researchers had paid more attention to it; however, this method was still on seeking. Therefore, compared to the former methods that were used to isolate the cancer stem cell, in the present study, we tried to use modified transwell system to isolate and enrich CSCs from human pancreatic cancer cell lines (Panc-1). Our results clearly showed that the lower chamber cells in modified transwell system were easily forming spheres; furthermore, these spheres expressed high levels of stem cell markers (CD133/CD44/CD24/Oct-4/ESA) and exhibited chemoresistance, underwent epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and possessed the properties of self-renewal in vitro and tumorigenicity in vivo. Therefore, we speculated that modified transwell assay system, as a rapid and effective method, can be used to isolate and enrich CSCs.