Brian Bigger and Kenny Yu - University of Manchester Stem Cell & Neurotherapies lab, Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine

Rod Benson - Imagen Biotech company

Our objective is to improve treatment outcomes in severe brain tumours (Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM)) patients, which remains a challenging prospect. First line treatment is surgery, radiotherapy and a chemotherapy drug called temozolomide, and is well established, however survival outcomes remain poor, at 14 months. Cancer stem cells (CSC) have been proposed to be a potential cause of disease recurrence and are chemotherapy and radiotherapy resistant. In this study we used High Throughput Content Screening (HTCS) combined with algorithmic image analysis to analyse the chemosensitivity profile of 82 currently approved chemotherapy drugs. HTCS is a promising method of assessing the chemosensitivity of patient derived cell lines. Future challenges include incorporating genomic data to improve ranking strategies and identify effective versus non-effective agents. The analytical method performed in this study can form the selection framework on which to take effective drugs for further testing.