Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tumor Invasion Assays using 3D Spheroids

Metastasis is the main cause of death in cancer patients and one of the most complex biological processes in human diseases.  Target-based approaches that center on cancer gene mutations are fraught with difficulties as the development of cancer involves a series of mutations, some of which drive the disease (see Figure below), while others are just passengers in the process of carcinogenesis. 


Carcinogenesis involves exposure to a carcinogen that provokes an initial genetic mutation
Carcinogenesis involves exposure to a carcinogen that provokes an initial genetic mutation.  For cancer to develop and metastasize, numerous other genetic changes occur.
Phenotypic approaches involving 3D cell culture methods that model tumor invasion may provide a more successful approach to developing new therapies. 3D spheroidal tumor structures using co-cultures of cells, creation of a suitable invasion matrix, and image-based monitoring and analysis of tumor invasion through the quantification of invadopodia can model metastasis for preclinical drug discovery studies using the Cytation 5 Cell Imaging Multi-Mode Reader.
 
3D spheroid consisting of a co-culture of MDA-MB-231
3D spheroid consisting of a co-culture of MDA-MB-231 (breast cancer cell line) and human fibroblasts invading into matrix in a 96-well microplate.  Gen5 Image+ software quantifies the extent of invasion by measuring invadopodia outlined in gold in the figure.

A full application note can be found here.
 
By: BioTek Instruments, Peter Banks Ph.D., Scientific Director

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