The Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer at the Université de Montréal, in collaboration with the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital's Quebec Leukemia Cell Bank, recently achieved a significant breakthrough thanks to the laboratory growth of leukemic stem cells, which will speed up the development of new cancer drugs.
In a recent study published in Nature Methods, the scientists involved describe how they succeeded in identifying two new chemical compounds that allow to maintain leukemic stem cells in culture when these are grown outside the body.
Top: This image shows acute myeloid leukemia cells presenting anomalies in standard growth conditions.
Below: This image shows acute myeloid leukemia cells preserving their leukemic cell features following in vitro culture with the two chemical molecules referred to in the study -- Pabst C, Krosl J, Fares I, Boucher G, Ruel R, Marinier A, Lemieux S, Hébert J, Sauvageau G. Identification of small molecules that support human leukemia stem cell activity ex vivo. Nature Methods. 2014-02-23.