Inventors: Loen M Hansford, Kristen M Smith, Alessandro Datti, Freda M Miller and David R Kaplan (Toronto, Canada).
Assignee: The Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto, Ontario, Canada).
Disclosed are enriched preparations of neuroblastoma tumor initiating cells (NB TICs). The NB TICs are capable of self-renewal, initiating neuroblastoma tumor growth in vivo and are capable of being passaged in high frequency. These NB TICs have chromosomal abnormalities and are capable of giving rise to secondary tumor spheres. Methods are also disclosed for preparing the enriched preparations of NB TICs, such as from neuroblastoma tumor tissue and metastasized bone marrow. Also disclosed are methods of screening candidate substances to identify therapeutic agents for the treatment of neuroblastoma. Methods are also provided for screening a sample for neuroblastoma, as well as for screening a sample to identify the stage of neuroblastoma present. Kits are also provided for selecting appropriate anti-neuroblastoma compounds for a patient, and utilize isolated compositions of the patients' neuroblastoma tumor initiating cells. In this manner, a customized medicinal profile for the patient may be devised.