Although cancers are often removed by surgery and treated by chemotherapy and/or radiation therapies, they often reoccur following treatment due to the presence of resistant residual cells such as cancer stem cells (CSCs). CSCs are characterized by their self-renewal, pluripotency, and tumorigenicity properties, and are promising therapeutic targets for the complete therapy of cancers; however, the number of CSCs in cancer tissue is typically too small to investigate fully. We have previously reported that CSCs could be established from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) using a conditioned medium during cancer cell culture. In the present study, mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) were observed to be converted to CSCs (mES-CSCs). This demonstrated that CSC induction does not exclusively occur following gene editing in somatic cells, and that conditioned medium from cancer cells may contain factors that can induce CSCs. Therefore, not only iPSCs but also mESCs, were demonstrated to be able to produce CSCs as one of the potentials of pluripotency of stem cells, suggesting that the conversion to CSCs is not specific to iPSCs. The resultant mES-CSCs would be also useful to generate tissue specific cancers and these naturally occurring cancers can contribute to drug screenings, but also undergo further investigation in order to reveal cancer mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2756-2762
Number of pages7
JournalOncology Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • Cancer stem cell
  • Conditioned medium
  • Mouse embryonic stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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