Solid Tumor Fact Sheet
CIRM funds many research projects investigating the similarities between stem cells and the cells at the heart of cancer. Drugs targeting these so-called cancer stem cells could prove to be powerful weapons against the disease.
If you want to learn more about CIRM funding decisions or make a comment directly to our board, join us at a public meeting. You can find agendas for upcoming public meetings on our meetings page.
Find clinical trials:
CIRM does not track stem cell clinical trials. If you or a family member is interested in participating in a clinical trial, please see the national trial database to find a trial near you: clinicaltrials.gov
Stem cell research for solid tumors
Solid tumors include cancers of the brain, ovary, breast, colon and other tissues. Many people believe that one quality solid tumors share is a reliance on cancer stem cells. These cancer stem cells are thought to divide to produce the bulk of the cells that make up the tumor.
The hypothesis suggests that unlike most cells of a tumor, the cancer stem cells divide very slowly and are less likely to be destroyed by chemotherapies that kill the fast-growing tumor cells. The thought is that cancers might recur because the chemotherapy kills the bulk of the tumor, but leaves behind the cancer stem cells that can, over time, form a new tumor.
Stem cell scientists are studying cancer stem cells from solid tumors in the lab to find ways of destroying them. If these cancer stem cells share characteristics that allow them to be destroyed by the same drug, then a single new drug could significantly improve cancer treatment for a range of different cancer types.
University of California, Los Angeles
A team led by scientists at UCLA has identified several potential drugs that kill cancer stem cells from the ovary, colon and brain in the lab dish. They will continue studying these drugs to find one that is most likely to be safe and effective at destroying cancer stem cells in people. Once they’ve identified the best candidate drug, the team plans to start clinical trials.
Catriona Jamieson of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center Describes Cancer Stem Cells
CIRM Grants Targeting Solid Tumors
|Researcher name||Institution||Grant Title||Approved funds|
|Elizabeth Lawlor||Children's Hospital of Los Angeles||hESC as tools to investigate the neural crest origin of Ewing's sarcoma||$595,576|
|Siavash Kurdistani||University of California, Los Angeles||Epigenetics in cancer stem cell initiation and clinical outcome prediction||$3,063,450|
|Julien Sage||Stanford University||The retinoblastoma (RB) gene family in cellular reprogramming||$1,363,171|
|Dennis Slamon||University of California, Los Angeles||THERAPEUTIC OPPORTUNITIES TO TARGET TUMOR INITIATING CELLS IN SOLID TUMORS||$19,979,660|
|David Cheresh||University of California, San Diego||CD61-driven stemness program in epithelial cancer||$1,161,000|
CIRM Cancer Stem Cell Videos
News about solid tumor research
- Bad Seeds: Cancer's Ultimate Source (Stanford Medicine)
- The True Seeds of Cancer (Stanford Medicine)
- CIRMResearch Blog entries about cancer stem cell research