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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1186/S12935-021-01853-8

Challenges of applying multicellular tumor spheroids in preclinical phase.

04 Mar 2021-Cancer Cell International (BioMed Central)-Vol. 21, Iss: 1, pp 152-152
Abstract: The three-dimensional (3D) multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTs) model is becoming an essential tool in cancer research as it expresses an intermediate complexity between 2D monolayer models and in vivo solid tumors. MCTs closely resemble in vivo solid tumors in many aspects, such as the heterogeneous architecture, internal gradients of signaling factors, nutrients, and oxygenation. MCTs have growth kinetics similar to those of in vivo tumors, and the cells in spheroid mimic the physical interaction of the tumors, such as cell-to-cell and cell-to-extracellular matrix interactions. These similarities provide great potential for studying the biological properties of tumors and a promising platform for drug screening and therapeutic efficacy evaluation. However, MCTs are not well adopted as preclinical tools for studying tumor behavior and therapeutic efficacy up to now. In this review, we addressed the challenges with MCTs application and discussed various efforts to overcome the challenges.

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13 results found

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3389/FBIOE.2021.649949
Abstract: Endothelial cells (ECs) are an important component of the tumor microenvironment, playing key roles in tumor development and progression that span from angiogenesis to immune regulation and drug resistance. Heterotypic tumor spheroids are one of the most widely used in vitro tumor microenvironment models, presenting improved recapitulation of tumor microenvironments compared to 2D cultures, in a simple and low-cost setup. Heterotypic tumor spheroid models incorporating endothelial cells have been proposed but present multiple limitations, such as the short culture duration typically obtained, the use of animal-derived matrices, and poor reproducibility; the diversity of culture conditions employed hinders comparison between studies and standardization of relevant culture parameters. Herein, we developed long-term cultures of triple heterotypic spheroids composed of the HCC1954 tumor cell line, human fibroblasts, and ECs. We explored culture parameters potentially relevant for EC maintenance, such as tumor cell line, seeding cell number, cell ratio, and agitation vs. static culture. In HCC1954-based spheroids, we observed maintenance of viable EC for up to 1 month of culture in agitation, with retention of the identity markers CD31 and von Willebrand factor. At the optimized tumor cell:fibroblast:EC ratio of 1:3:10, HCC1954-based spheroids had a higher EC area/total spheroid area at 1 month of culture than the other cell ratios tested. EC maintenance was tumor cell line-dependent, and in HCC1954-based spheroids it was also dependent on the presence of fibroblasts and agitation. Moreover, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) supplementation was not required for maintenance of EC, as the factor was endogenously produced. ECs co-localized with fibroblasts, which accumulated preferentially in the core of the spheroids and secreted EC-relevant extracellular matrix proteins, such as collagen I and IV. This simple model setup does not rely on artificial or animal-derived scaffolds and can serve as a useful tool to explore the culture parameters influencing heterotypic spheroids, contributing to model standardization, as well as to explore molecular cross talk of ECs within the tumor microenvironment, and potentially its effects on drug response.

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Topics: Tumor microenvironment (57%), Angiogenesis (52%), Spheroid (50%)

2 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/CANCERS13174440
03 Sep 2021-Cancers
Abstract: Worldwide, there are currently around 18.1 million new cancer cases and 9.6 million cancer deaths yearly. Although cancer diagnosis and treatment has improved greatly in the past several decades, a complete understanding of the complex interactions between cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment during primary tumor growth and metastatic expansion is still lacking. Several aspects of the metastatic cascade require in vitro investigation. This is because in vitro work allows for a reduced number of variables and an ability to gather real-time data of cell responses to precise stimuli, decoupling the complex environment surrounding in vivo experimentation. Breakthroughs in our understanding of cancer biology and mechanics through in vitro assays can lead to better-designed ex vivo precision medicine platforms and clinical therapeutics. Multiple techniques have been developed to imitate cancer cells in their primary or metastatic environments, such as spheroids in suspension, microfluidic systems, 3D bioprinting, and hydrogel embedding. Recently, magnetic-based in vitro platforms have been developed to improve the reproducibility of the cell geometries created, precisely move magnetized cell aggregates or fabricated scaffolding, and incorporate static or dynamic loading into the cell or its culture environment. Here, we will review the latest magnetic techniques utilized in these in vitro environments to improve our understanding of cancer cell interactions throughout the various stages of the metastatic cascade.

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1 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.YEXCR.2021.112858
Li-Feng Hu1, Xue Yang, Huan-Rong Lan1, Xingliang Fang2  +2 moreInstitutions (3)
Abstract: In contrast to conventional cancer treatment, in personalized cancer medicine each patient receives a specific treatment. The response to therapy, clinical outcomes, and tumor behavior such as metastases, tumor progression, carcinogenesis can be significantly affected by the heterogeneous tumor microenvironment (TME) and interpersonal differences. Therefore, using native tumor microenvironment mimicking models is necessary to improving personalized cancer therapy. Both in vitro 2D cell culture and in vivo animal models poorly recapitulate the heterogeneous tumor (immune) microenvironments of native tumors. The development of 3D culture models, native tumor microenvironment mimicking models, made it possible to evaluate the chemoresistance of tumor tissue and the functionality of drugs in the presence of cell-extracellular matrix and cell-cell interactions in a 3D construction. Various personalized tumor models have been designed to preserving the native tumor microenvironment, including patient-derived tumor xenografts and organoid culture strategies. In this review, we will discuss the patient-derived organoids as a native tumor microenvironment mimicking model in personalized cancer therapy. In addition, we will also review the potential and the limitations of organoid culture systems for predicting patient outcomes and preclinical drug screening. Finally, we will discuss immunotherapy drug screening in tumor organoids by using microfluidic technology.

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1 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/PHARMACEUTICS13111863
Marco Cavaco1, Marco Cavaco2, Patrícia Fraga2, Javier Valle1  +3 moreInstitutions (2)
04 Nov 2021-Pharmaceutics
Abstract: Breast cancer (BC) is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and one of the most common causes of cancer-related deaths. Despite intense research efforts, BC treatment still remains challenging. Improved drug development strategies are needed for impactful benefit to patients. Current preclinical studies rely mostly on cell-based screenings, using two-dimensional (2D) cell monolayers that do not mimic in vivo tumors properly. Herein, we explored the development and characterization of three-dimensional (3D) models, named spheroids, of the most aggressive BC subtypes (triple-negative breast cancer-TNBC; and human-epidermal growth receptor-2-HER2+), using the liquid overlay technique with several selected cell lines. In these cell line-derived spheroids, we studied cell density, proliferation, ultrastructure, apoptosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and cell permeabilization (live/dead). The results showed a formation of compact and homogeneous spheroids on day 7 after seeding 2000 cells/well for MDA-MB-231 and 5000 cells/well for BT-20 and BT-474. Next, we compared the efficacy of a model anticancer peptide (ACP) in cell monolayers and spheroids. Overall, the results demonstrated spheroids to be less sensitive to treatment than cell monolayers, revealing the need for more robust models in drug development.

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Topics: 3D cell culture (57%), Cell (50%), Cancer (50%)

Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.09.16.460165
17 Sep 2021-bioRxiv
Abstract: Scaffold-free tissue engineering is desired in creating consistently sized and shaped cell aggregates but has been limited to spheroid-like structure and function, thus restricting its use in accurate disease modeling. Here, we show formation of a viable lung organoid from epithelial, endothelial, and fibroblast stable cell lines in suspension culture supplemented with soluble concentrations of extracellular matrix proteins (ECM). We demonstrate the importance of soluble ECM in organotypic patterning with the emergence of air space-like gas exchange units, formation of branching, perfusable vasculature, and increased 3D growth. Our results show a dependent relationship between enhanced fibronectin fibril assembly and the incorporation of ECM in the organoid. Endothelial branching was found to depend on both soluble ECM and fibroblast. We successfully applied this technology in modeling lung fibrosis via bleomycin induction and test a potential antifibrotic drug in vitro while maintaining fundamental cell-cell interactions in lung tissue. Our human fluorescent lung organoid (hFLO) model accurately represents features of pulmonary fibrosis which were ameliorated by fasudil treatment. We demonstrate a 3D culture method with potential of creating organoids from mature cells, thus opening avenues for disease modeling and regenerative medicine, enhancing understanding of lung cell biology in health and lung disease.

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Topics: Organoid (58%), Fibronectin fibril (55%), Tissue engineering (54%) ... read more


169 results found

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.CCR.2005.08.010
01 Sep 2005-Cancer Cell
Abstract: Summary Tumors are stiffer than normal tissue, and tumors have altered integrins. Because integrins are mechanotransducers that regulate cell fate, we asked whether tissue stiffness could promote malignant behavior by modulating integrins. We found that tumors are rigid because they have a stiff stroma and elevated Rho-dependent cytoskeletal tension that drives focal adhesions, disrupts adherens junctions, perturbs tissue polarity, enhances growth, and hinders lumen formation. Matrix stiffness perturbs epithelial morphogenesis by clustering integrins to enhance ERK activation and increase ROCK-generated contractility and focal adhesions. Contractile, EGF-transformed epithelia with elevated ERK and Rho activity could be phenotypically reverted to tissues lacking focal adhesions if Rho-generated contractility or ERK activity was decreased. Thus, ERK and Rho constitute part of an integrated mechanoregulatory circuit linking matrix stiffness to cytoskeletal tension through integrins to regulate tissue phenotype.

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Topics: Focal adhesion (58%), Integrin (54%), Adherens junction (53%)

3,335 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NRM2236
Abstract: Cell monolayers have serious limitations for cell biological investigations and for cell-based assays in drug screening and toxicity studies. However, the establishment of three-dimensional cultures as a mainstream approach requires the development of reliable protocols, new cell lines and suitable imaging techniques.

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Topics: 3D cell culture (56%)

2,147 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.CCR.2006.03.030
Jeongwu Lee1, Svetlana Kotliarova1, Yuri Kotliarov1, Aiguo Li1  +8 moreInstitutions (1)
01 May 2006-Cancer Cell
Abstract: The concept of tumor stem cells (TSCs) provides a new paradigm for understanding tumor biology, although it remains unclear whether TSCs will prove to be a more robust model than traditional cancer cell lines. We demonstrate marked phenotypic and genotypic differences between primary human tumor-derived TSCs and their matched glioma cell lines. Unlike the matched, traditionally grown tumor cell lines, TSCs derived directly from primary glioblastomas harbor extensive similarities to normal neural stem cells and recapitulate the genotype, gene expression patterns, and in vivo biology of human glioblastomas. These findings suggest that TSCs may be a more reliable model than many commonly utilized cancer cell lines for understanding the biology of primary human tumors.

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Topics: Neural stem cell (51%), Cell cycle (50%)

2,032 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.CMET.2006.01.012
Ioanna Papandreou1, Rob A. Cairns1, Lucrezia Fontana1, Ai Lin Lim1  +1 moreInstitutions (1)
01 Mar 2006-Cell Metabolism
Abstract: The HIF-1 transcription factor drives hypoxic gene expression changes that are thought to be adaptive for cells exposed to a reduced-oxygen environment. For example, HIF-1 induces the expression of glycolytic genes. It is presumed that increased glycolysis is necessary to produce energy when low oxygen will not support oxidative phosphorylation at the mitochondria. However, we find that while HIF-1 stimulates glycolysis, it also actively represses mitochondrial function and oxygen consumption by inducing pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK1). PDK1 phosphorylates and inhibits pyruvate dehydrogenase from using pyruvate to fuel the mitochondrial TCA cycle. This causes a drop in mitochondrial oxygen consumption and results in a relative increase in intracellular oxygen tension. We show by genetic means that HIF-1-dependent block to oxygen utilization results in increased oxygen availability, decreased cell death when total oxygen is limiting, and reduced cell death in response to the hypoxic cytotoxin tirapazamine.

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Topics: Oxygen tension (67%), Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (62%), Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (60%) ... read more

1,763 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NM0297-177
01 Feb 1997-Nature Medicine
Abstract: The partial pressure of oxygen (pO2) and pH play critical roles in tumor biology and therapy. We report here the first combined, high-resolution (≤10 μm) measurements of interstitial pH and pO2 profiles between adjacent vessels in a human tumor xenograft, using fluorescence ratio imaging and phosphorescence quenching microscopy. We found (1) heterogeneity in shapes of pH and pO2 profiles; (2) a discordant relation between local pH profiles and corresponding pO2 profiles, yet a strong correlation between mean pH and pO2 profiles; (3) no correlation between perivascular pH/pO2 and nearest vessel blood flow; and (4) well-perfused tumor vessels that were hypoxic and, consequently, large hypoxic areas in the surrounding interstitium. Such multiparameter measurements of the in vivo microenvironment provide unique insights into biological processes in tumors and their response to treatment.

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1,480 Citations

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