Lecture 7 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Lecture 7 Deck (36):

How can cancer cells be visualised in 2D?

Cell culture assays

  • Advantages
    • Easy to perform 
    • Repeatable
    • Well-defined parameters 
  • Disadvantages
    • Monoculture
    • 2D environment may not be applicable


How can you model invasion in 3D in vitro?

Matrigel invasion assay

  • Cells must digest an ECM to reach and travel through a filter to reach a chemoattractant 
  • Cells can be stained to visualise which ones have travelled through the filter



How can you model migration in 3D in vitro?

Transwell migration assay

  • As per matrigel assay but without the ECM for digestion


Which adhesion molecule has been shown to be important using matrigel invasion assays?



What is a commonly used cancer cell line?


MDA-MB 231



What is a concern with using cells derived from effusions?

The cells have lost their requirement for stromal support and hence their growth in vitro is probably not a good indicator of their growth in vivo


How can you study invasion in vivo?

Intravital imaging

Cover glass placed into skin of animal

Imaging through this 'window' shows invasion by the tumour

Expensive and difficult to quantify


Why are blood vessles inefficient-hostile environments for cancer cells?

  • Cells may lose ability to adhere (anoikis) 
  • Undergo MET due to lack of stromal support
  • Destruction by hydrodynamic shear forces 


How might circulating tumour cells (CTCs) adapt to thie hostile vessel environment?

Recruit platelets to form microthombi - ensheathing the CTCs and protecting them 


How has it been shown that CTCs use microthrombi?

  • P-selectin, adhesion moelcule needed for thombus formation, knockout mice cannot form microthrombi 
  • Nf-E2 knockout mouse, no platelets, will have fewer metastases when cancer cells injected into bloodstream


How can cancer cells be removed form circulation?

  • CellSearch - targets EpCAM using an antibody
    • However, not all cancer cells express EpCAM and some non-cancer cells do express it
  • Microfluic devices
    • Remove cells based on size - cancer cells larger than most other circulating cells 



What can CTCs be used to predict?

Why is it difficult?

Survival rate : fewer CTCs = better survival rate

Hard to remove and in very small numbers


What is a new area of research for find CTCs in blood?

Liquid biopsy

Looks for other factors associated with CTCs - e.g. circulating DNA shed from cancer cells 


Where else can tumours cells intravasate into?

The lymphatic system - which drains into the left subclavian vein


How can CTCs be detected in the lymphatics?

What is this commonly used for?

Immunohistochemistry (IHC)

Breast cancer prognosis 


Why is lymphatic dispersion called a surogate marker?

Cannot be targeted for therapy 


What was the first theory to explain the apparent preference for the site of metasis for different primary tumours?

Seed and Soil hypothesis by Stephen Paget in 1889

Tumour cells (seed) simply have an affinity for a specific tissue (soil)


What was the major issue with Paget's hypothesis?

If tumour cells are drawn to specific tissue then a breast cancer would commonly travel to the non-malignant breast. However, these contralateral metastases are rare. 


Outline the work on targeted metastases of melanoma cells 

Injecting B16 melanoma cells into mice lead to tumours developing at the lungs and fragments of lung/ovarian tissue added into smooth muscle. But not at fragments of renal tissue or the injection site. Demonstrated a definite affinitiy to certain areas. 


Outline the work on targeted metastases of breast cancer cells 

  • Breast cancer cells express CXCR4 so are more likely to arrest in tissues which express CXCL12
  • Certain cancer cells with elevated IL-4, CXCR4, CTGF and osteopontin have higher bone metastatic potential


Outline the first pass organ theory

James Ewing in 1929

The cancer cells are direcetd by blood flow and hence will colonize at the nexe available organ they pass

Issue with that all cancer cells would first go through heart and lungs and therefore get stuck in thin lung capillary beds.

Issue possible overcome due to arterial-venous shunts which would allow transit to any tissue via arterial circulation


On what two parameters does ability to metastasise depend?

  • Frequency that cells are trapped
  • Adaptation to microenvironment


What is metastatic latency?

Cancer cells can lay dormant at secondary site for decades - possibly due to adaptation to the new site


What are micrometastases?

<2mm metastatic lesions


What are the possible fates of micrometastases?

  • Death
  • Quiescence 
  • Cannot undergo angiogenesis so is kept small
  • Resume proliferation


What is the rate-limiting step of metastasis?



What may cause reactivation of colonized cells?

  • Injury
  • Immune supression 
  • Mutation


What three types of in vivo xenograph model?

  1. Subcutaneous 
    • Microenvironment no accuarte unless using skin cancer cells
  2. Orthotopic
    • Injected into site of origin of tumour
  3. Experimental metastasis 
    • Inject into blood and metastasise to site


How can bioluminescent imaging be used?

Cancer cells have biolumenescence and amount of luminescence is relative to number of cells

So can model tumour growth over time 

However, the mice are immune deficient so the model is not perfect 


What genetic approach is now being used?

Cre expressing cells with floced genes of interest in specific tissue causes tumour to develop in that tissue 


What is the pre-metastatic niche?

Signals from primary tumour 'prepare' distant sites to support secondary tumour formation 



What is the proposed mechanism for the formation of the pre-metastatic niche?

VEGF receptor and bone marrow-derived cells colonize potential sites and

  • Upregulate integrins and cytokines
  • Accelerate angiogenesis 


How are the bone marrow derived cells recruited to the secondary site?

Structural changes induced by LOX from primary tumour

LOX levels are higher in tumours than normal cells, due to hypoxia in tumours (further accelerated by anti-angiogenesis drugs)

Higher LOX levels in tumours associated with more metastasis 


Why are secondary breast cancer tumours in the brain thought to being seen now?

Before people would die due to metastases in the bone before the brain metastases could develop, but now bone tumours are better treated. 


How do breast cancer metastases in the brain compete?

Proliferative advantage by displaying GABAergic properties and catabolizing GABA to NADH as an energy source


What may be a new target for breast cancer cells?

Sodium channels - which promote migration of breast cancer cells via a neuronal signalling mechanism

e.g. epilepsy drugs