Tumor-Endothelial Cell Three-dimensional Spheroids: New Aspects to Enhance Radiation and Drug Therapeutics.


Classic cancer research for several decades has focused on understanding the biology of tumor cells in vitro. However, extending these findings to in vivo settings has been impeded owing to limited insights on the impact of microenvironment on tumor cells. We hypothesized that tumor cell biology and treatment response would be more informative when done in the presence of stromal components, like endothelial cells, which exist in the tumor microenvironment. To that end, we have developed a system to grow three-dimensional cultures of GFP-4T1 mouse mammary tumor and 2H11 murine endothelial cells in hanging drops of medium in vitro. The presence of 2H11 endothelial cells in these three-dimensional cocultures was found to sensitize 4T1-GFP tumor cells to chemotherapy (Taxol) and, at the same time, protect cells from ionizing radiation. These spheroidal cultures can also be implanted into the dorsal skinfold window chamber of mice for fluorescence imaging of vascularization and disease progression/treatment response. We observed rapid neovascularization of the tumor-endothelial spheroids in comparison to tumor spheroids grown in nude mice. Molecular analysis revealed pronounced up-regulation of several proangiogenic factors in the tumor tissue derived from the tumor-endothelial spheroids compared with tumor-only spheroids. Furthermore, the rate of tumor growth from tumor-endothelial spheroids in mice was faster than the tumor cell-only spheroids, resulting in greater metastasis to the lung. This three-dimensional coculture model presents an improved way to investigate more pertinent aspects of the therapeutic potential for radiation and/or chemotherapy alone and in combination with antiangiogenic agents.

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@article{Upreti2011TumorEndothelialCT, title={Tumor-Endothelial Cell Three-dimensional Spheroids: New Aspects to Enhance Radiation and Drug Therapeutics.}, author={Meenakshi Upreti and Azemat Jamshidi-Parsian and Nathan A. Koonce and Jessica S. Webber and Sunil K. Sharma and Alexzander A. A. Asea and Mathew J Mader and Robert J. Griffin}, journal={Translational oncology}, year={2011}, volume={4 6}, pages={365-76} }