Tumor Models

In-vivo models of metastasis

Spontaneous models of metastasis.

(tumor cells have to complete all steps of the metastatic process)
Site of injection (target organs): subcutaneous tissue (lung), spleen (liver), hind leg muscle (lung).
Orthotopic transplantation of tumor cells (target organs): wall of large bowel (liver), kidney (lung), mammary fat pad (lung), dermis (lung and/or lymphnodes).

Experimental models of metastasis.

Site of injection: tail vein, portal system, carotid artery, left ventricle of the heart. Target organs are: lung, liver, brain, all organs, respectively.

In-vitro models of the steps of the metastatic process.

Tumor cell lines used: human and mouse melanomas, fibrosarcomas, colon carcinomas, lung carcinomas, breast carcinomas, prostate carcinomas, lymphomas, HNSCC.

Tissue invasion

2D models:

3D models:

Intravasation. isolated brain capillaries are confronted with different tumor cell lines.
Extravasation. interaction of cultures of endothelial cells or isolated vessel fragments with tumor cells.

Analyzation of tumor cell motility

Types of cellular motility: chemotaxis (liquid phase gradient), haptotaxis (solid phase gradient), chemokinesis (random motility).

Migration tests.

2D: cell culture wounding, phagokinetic track assay, videomicroscopy, emigration of cells from tumor spheroids (scatter).
3D: Boyden chamber (cell number is determined on the lower side of the 8- μm pore size membrane), migration into extracellular matrix gels (collagen I, fibrin, basement membrane), organ cultures (chorio-allantoic membrane, denuded cornea).

Assessment of anti-angiogenic potential.

Frozen tumor samples growing at different location are cryosectioned. Immunoflorescence staining is performed to highlight basement membrane and CD31 to unequivocally detect vessels. Vessel density (blood, lymphatic) vessel size, area fraction are determined using image analysis systems.

Assessment of anti-metastatic potential.

Metastases of different tumor lines are produced in spleen-liver, muscle-lung, skin-lung models. The removed target organs are fixed and number and size of the surface colonies are determined. If necessary the target organs are serially sectioned and the area fraction of the metastatic colonies is determined.

Patient derived tumor xenografts (PDTX)

Patient derived tumor xenografts (PDTX) are created when cancerous tissue from a patient’s primary tumor is implanted directly into an immunodeficient mouse. Tumor models including xenografts in mice were used previously mostly in the development of new anticancer drugs. Nowadays xenografts from direct patient-derived tumor tissues (PDTT) in immunodeficient mice yield better models than experimental tumors originating from cell cultures. The new method enables researchers to observe heterogeneous tumor cells with their surrounding tissue elements and matrices representing the clinical situation in humans much better. The cells in PDTX tumors are alive and functionally active through several generations after serial transplantation. Therefore using these models we may investigate tumor response to different therapies, the selection of resistant cell populations and the formation of metastasis predicting the outcomes in the personalized therapy.

Sample Processing and evaluation

Cell Line

Human Cell Lines
Breast cancer MDA-MB 231, MCF-7, ZR75
Colon HT29, HCT 116, WiDR, HCA7
Head and neck PE/CA-PJ41, PE/CA-PJ15, FaDu, Cal29
Leukemia K562, THP-1 (monocytic leukemia), HL60 (myelod leukemia), Jurkat (leukemic T cell), MV4-11 (acute monocytic)
Liver HepG2, Lx2 (hepatic stellate cell line), HuH7
Lung A549, H1975, H1650, H358, LCLC-LO3H, HCC-15, LOU-NH91
Melanoma A2058 (HT168, HT168-M1), HT199, MeWo, WM983A, WM983B, WM35, M24met
Ovarian OVCAR-8, OVCAR-3, SK-OV-3, A2780
Prostate PC3, LNCaP (androgen +), DU145
Other human cell lines HUVEC (umbilical vein endothelial), ECV 304 („immortalised” HUVEC), KS IMM (Kaposi sarcoma endothel), HT1080 (fibrosarcoma), HeLa (cervix), KB („keratin-forming” HeLa), U87 (glioblastoma), U87-MG vIII (EGFRvIII transfectant), A431 (epidermoid carcinoma), Panc-1 (pancreas), MRC-5 (fibroblast from lung)
Mouse Cell Lines
Mouse cell lines B16a (melanoma, amelanotic), B16 (F0, F10), LLT-HH (Lewis lung, high liver preference in metastasis), MXT (breast cc), CMT 93 (rectum cc), LLT (Lewis lung), C38 (colon), C26 (colon), S180 (sarcoma), P388 (leukemia) , L929 (fibroblast), 4T1 (breast)

Metastasis model systems and orthotopic transplantations (samples)

I. Brain metastases

1. Macroscopic meatastases are produced by injecting tumor cells directly in the brain parenchima

Tumor lines host duration (days)
C38 mouse colon carcinoma C57Bl/6 7-10
HT1080 human fibrosarcoma SCID 7-10
ZR75 human mammary carcinoma SCID 28
HT25 human colon carcinoma SCID 28
H1650 human NLSC SCID 28

2. Microscopic metastases are produced by injecting tumor cell in the carotid artery

Tumor lines host duration (days)
3LL-HH mouse lung carcinoma C57Bl/6 10-14
B16 mouse melanoma C57Bl/6 10-14
A2058 human melanoma SCID 28

II: Pleural metastases

can be produced by injecting tumor cell in the thoracic cavity. Metastases can be analyzed by dissecting the diaphragm.

Tumor lines host duration (days)
3LL-HH mouse lung carcinoma C57Bl/6 7-10
SPC111 human mesothelioma SCID 28-35

III. Colon carcinoma

Tumor pieces are transplanted onto the serosal surface of the caecum.

Tumor lines host duration (days) metastasis
C-26 mouse colon carcinoma BALB/c 14-18 liver, LN
HT29 human colon cc. SCID/NSG 45-50 liver, lung, LN

IV. Mammary carcinoma

(injected into mammary fat pad)

Tumor lines host duration (days) metastasis
MXT mouse mammary cc. BDF1 25-30 lung, axillary LN
MDA-MB-231 human SCID/NSG 80-90 lung, axillary LN

V. Prostate carcinoma

(tumor cells are injected into the prostate)

Tumor lines host duration (days) metastasis
PC3 human prostate cc. SCID, NSG 25-30
LNCAP human prostate cc. SCID, NSG 25-35

VI. General metastasis model

Tumor cells are injected into the left ventricle of the heart. Metastases are formed in all organs.

VII. Colonization models

Tumor cells are injected into the tail vein, or spleen, and tumor colonies are formed in lung and liver, respectively.

VIII. Amputation metastasis model which is used to accelerate metastasis formation

Tumor cells are injected into the foot pad. The injected leg is amputated after primary tumor is formed. Metastases develop in the lungs.

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