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Stem Cells (Human Embryonic) and Cancer

Cell Biology

  1. Maty Tzukerman,
  2. Karl Skorecki

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200500049

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Tzukerman, M. and Skorecki, K. 2006. Stem Cells (Human Embryonic) and Cancer. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. Rambam Medical Center and Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and Research Institute, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


There is currently no experimental system available wherein human cancer cells can be grown in the context of a mixed population of normal differentiated human cells for testing biological aspects of cancer cell growth (tumor cell invasion, angiogenesis), or response to anticancer therapies. Human embryonic stem cells when implanted into immunocompromised mice develop teratomas containing complex structures, comprising differentiated cell types representing the major germ-line derived lineages. We sought to determine whether human cancer cells would grow within such teratomas and display properties associated with malignancy, such as invasiveness and recruitment of blood vessels. Ovarian cancer cells (HEY), stably expressing an H2A-GFP fusion protein, which allows tracking of tumor cells, were injected into mature teratomas and developed into tumors. The growth, proliferative capacity, invasion, and induction of blood vessel formation were examined. We propose using this novel experimental platform to develop a preclinical model for investigating and manipulating the stromal response in tumor cell growth as an additional tool in cancer research.


  • Angiogenesis;
  • Human embryonic stem cells;
  • Immunodeficient SCID/beige mouse;
  • Teratoma;
  • Tumorigenesis;
  • Tumor microenvironment;
  • Vasculogenesis