Over the past few years, evidence has accumulated supporting the hypothesis that cancer robustness may be attributed to a small portion of the tumour mass, the cancer cells (CSCs). Our approach is geared towards the addition of Master Switch factors in the microenvironment of the CSCs that will lead to their differentiation into non-proliferative and non-malignant cells. These master switch factors are normally present in the normal stem cell niche to regulate homeostasis.
Our proposal is subdivided in in vitro studies ans in vivo testing of stem cells representing one type of solid tumours: brain cancers. To achieve our goal, the master switch factors will be identified and delivered locally, in and around the tumour. For that purpose, we will use microbeads loaded with the Master switch protein(s) to deliver, only locally, a high concentration of the differentiating factor(s), recreating a normal microenvironment.