Sphere-forming assays for assessment of benign and malignant pancreatic stem cells

Yue J. Wang, Jennifer M. Bailey, Meritxell Rovira, Steven D. Leach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Sphere-forming assays are an in vitro technique to assay both normal and neoplastic cells for clonogenic growth potential. Currently, the identification of adult progenitors in the pancreas remains an area of intense investigation. The use of sphere-forming assays provides a critical step to identify new cell types in the pancreas that are capable of clonogenic growth and differentiation. In the field of cancer biology, cancer stem cells have been de fined functionally by two major criteria: their ability to undergo self-renewal and their ability to produce differentiated progeny, two conditions which satisfy the criteria of stem cells. Here we brie fly review both the capabilities of pancreatosphere and pancreatic tumorsphere assays, discuss important caveats regarding their use, and provide detailed protocols for the assay of both normal and neoplastic cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPancreatic Cancer
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781627032865
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Cancer stem cells
  • Clonogenic growth
  • Pancreatospheres
  • Progenitor cells
  • Sphere-forming assays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sphere-forming assays for assessment of benign and malignant pancreatic stem cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this