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Human brain cancer stem cells, SEM

  • Dr Khuloud T. Al-Jamal
  • Digital Images
  • Online

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False-coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of human cancer stem cells (CSCs) isolated from patients with brain cancer. The cell body (blue) and nucleus (yellow/green) of each cell is highlighted here. Cancer stem cells are proposed to persist in tumours as a distinct population and cause relapse and metastasis by giving rise to new tumours. Development of specific therapies targeted at CSCs holds hope for improvement of survival and quality of life of brain cancer patients. New approaches in nanotechnology are one of the strategies being researched to target CSCs to either kill them or switch them into a non-tumorigenic cell type. The cells seen here have been modified so they can grow continuously in culture in order to test new treatments. Diameter of each brain cancer stem cell is approximately 10 micrometres.


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