Target Discovery and Drug Evaluation using Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs)

We provide CSCs that can be subcultured for a long period of time, which have been enriched and purified from human cancer cells using our proprietary method. We propose joint research projects using these CSCs.


  • It is possible to concentrate and purify CSCs from cancer cells derived from various tissues.
  • The purified CSCs can be subcultured for more than one year, and are useful for assays of target molecules and drug evaluation.


CSCs are attracting attention as a therapeutic target for refractory and recurrent/metastatic cancers, and methods to obtain CSCs for research and development are important. For example, cancer cell lines are selected by using anticancer drugs, and CSC markers are identified, and cell lines that are resistant to anticancer drugs are used as CSCs. The CSCs obtained in this way are only “drug-resistant lines” and it is unclear whether they are true CSCs. In addition, methods for inducing CSCs by three-dimensional culture such as organoid culture and spheroid culture, separation by CSC markers, and addition of growth factors have been reported. However, none of them can be said to be sufficiently purified, and it is believed that no method has yet been reported to truly purify CSCs. In order to solve the above problems, we have developed a method to efficiently concentrate and purify CSCs.


  • From human colorectal cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, and melanoma cell lines, we enriched and purified CSCs by our original method.
  • The characteristics of CSCs were confirmed by cell morphology, expression of cancer stem cell markers and iPS-related markers, and drug resistance.
  • The CSCs were transplanted into mouse thighs and showed higher tumorigenicity than the original cancer cell lines.
  • Subculture of some kinds of CSCs for more than 1 year was confirmed.



Principal Investigator

Katsumi MAENAKA (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokkaido University)

Development Stage

  • Currently, we have established a method for concentrating and purifying cancer stem cells from cancer cell lines, and have established multiple types of cancer stem cell lines.
  • Next step, we hope to collaborate with partners such as pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies. In the collaboration, we will obtain and provide CSCs desired by the partners, and will collaborate on research and development such as analysis of target molecule pathways, drug evaluation assays, and patient CSC testing technology for personalized medicine.

Product No. BK-03969

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