Determining mammosphere-forming potential: Application of the limiting dilution analysis

Lauren M. Rota, Deborah A. Lazzarino, Amber N. Ziegler, Derek LeRoith, Teresa L. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations


Originally adapted from the neurosphere assay, the nonadherent mammosphere assay has been utilized to assess early progenitor/stem cell frequency in a given population of mammary epithelial cells. This method has also been used to measure the frequency of tumorsphere initiating cells in both primary mammary tumors as well as in tumor cell lines. Although, the mammosphere assay has been used extensively in the mammary gland field, a standard method of quantifying and analyzing sphere growth in this assay has remained undefined. Here, we discuss the use and benefit of using a limiting dilution analysis to quantify sphere-forming frequency in primary mammary epithelial cells grown in nonadherent conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-123
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of mammary gland biology and neoplasia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


  • Breast
  • Cancer stem cell
  • Mammary
  • Mammosphere
  • Progenitor cell
  • Stem cell
  • Tumor initiating cell
  • Tumorsphere

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