Isolation and Characterization of Stem Cells from Human Central Nervous System Malignancies

  • Imad Saeed Khan
  • Moneeb EhteshamEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 853)


Central Nervous System (CNS) tumors include some of the most invasive and lethal tumors in humans. The poor prognosis in patients with CNS tumors is ascribed to their invasive nature. After the description of a stem cell-like cohort in hematopoietic cancers, tumor stem cells (TSCs) have been isolated from a variety of solid tumors, including brain tumors. Further research has uncovered the crucial role these cells play in the initiation and propagation of brain tumors. More importantly, TSCs have also been shown to be relatively resistant to conventional cytotoxic therapeutics, which may also account for the alarmingly high rate of CNS tumor recurrence. In order to elucidate prospective therapeutic targets it is imperative to study these cells in detail and to accomplish this, we need to be able to reliably isolate and characterize these cells. This chapter will therefore, provide an overview of the methods used to isolate and characterize stem cells from human CNS malignancies.


Glioma stem cells Tumor stem cells Cancer stem cells Stem cell sorting Hoechst dye exclusion ALDH1 assay Neurosphere culture 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of NeurosurgeryGeisel School of Medicine at DartmouthLebanonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Neurological SurgeryVanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA

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