STEM ZeOncoTest - Diagnostic method to assess the effectiveness of antitumor drugs

The STEM-ZeOncoTest is an innovative and versatile product for oncological diagnosis that offers a quick and economical solution for making decisions about the treatment of therapy.

Start – End dates: 30/07/15 – 30/07/18

Project reference: NUCLIS DE RECERCA INDUSTRIAL (RD15-1-0114)

Total budget: 179,241€

Financed by: ACCIÓ, Spain

ACCIO_generalitat de catalunya
¨With the support from ACCIÓ; program Nulcis De Recerca Industrial, project reference RD15-1-0114¨

Partners: LEITAT (Spain)


The STEM-ZeOncoTest proposes to develop a strategy that makes it possible to identify the subpopulation of cancer stem cells (CSCs) among a set of human tumor cells and xenotransplant them in zebrafish larvae to test specific drugs against them. It is a complementary method to ZeOncoTest that shares the same commercial objectives: to be offered to hospitals, as a method that allows deciding which is the most appropriate treatment for each patient, and as a method for the discovery of the most effective drugs against cancer, in this case using CSCs as therapeutic targets.

The STEM-ZeOncoTest is an innovative and versatile product, which can be used by different markets, including those related to healthcare, the development of innovative drugs and cancer research. This new method of oncological diagnosis offers a possible quick and economical solution for making decisions about the treatment of therapy. The rapid development of zebrafish larvae allows the trial to last only one week, while the xenotransplantation technique in mice takes several months to give results and, in the case of very aggressive cancers, this would exceed the life expectancy of the patients. Consequently, the rapid information provided by the STEM-ZeOncoTest would also guarantee a reduced hospitalization period and, hopefully, more effective treatment.

The trial will be offered to pharmaceutical companies interested in the development of anti-tumor drugs and cancer research. This test, which allows the observation in great detail of the behavior of human CSCs within an in vivo model system, the zebrafish, is of great interest to those companies interested in the search for new drugs against certain types of cancer for which An essential role of CSCs has been demonstrated (Eaves, 2008; Visvader and Lindeman, 2012).