Faculty Advisor

Adams, David S.

Project Center

University of Massachusetts Medical Center


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a newly hypothesized subpopulation of cancer cells that are resistant to chemotherapy and may explain many cases of cancer resurgence. Unfortunately, these cells are difficult to detect and isolate for analysis. As CSCs cycle more slowly than actively dividing cancer cells, CSCs should retain any label that binds to intracellular molecules longer. A HCT116 human colorectal cancer line was pulsed with CFSE, then chased for 7 days, after which it was treated with various chemotherapy agents. FACS analysis indicated that two of the chemotherapy treatments may have enriched for label retaining cells, though none of the markers tested seem to possess potential for use as an HCT116 CSC marker.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2011


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology