Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden develop innovative quiescent spheroid cell models and a unique process of high throughput screening.
In the first high throughput drug-repositioning screening analysis of its scale — with 1,600 total existing compounds successfully screened— Wojciech Senkowski and colleagues from the Department of Medical Sciences at Uppsala University and from Karolinska Institute analyzed the effects of these compounds on three-dimensional colorectal cancer cell cultures (i.e., ‘multicellular tumor spheroids’), ultimately discovering that when the cells were made quiescent, several anti-parasitic drugs demonstrated strong anti-cancer activity1.
These findings are compelling—but it doesn’t end there. In a follow-up gene-expression analysis study utilizing the same 3D cell culture method, Senkowski, et al., identified additional compounds to be toxic to quiescent cancer cells, further supporting the rationale for high throughput screening in 3D cell culture. In addition, they presented a novel platform to study the gene expression in 3D cell cultures in a large scale2.
“In these two publications, we have shown that culture conditions are critical, both in terms of gene expression and drug responses,” says team leader Mårten Fryknäs.