American Association for Cancer Research
00085472can152304-sup-154395_1_video_3299379_f0kb1r.mp4 (2.8 MB)

Supplementary Video 1 from Three-Dimensional Breast Cancer Models Mimic Hallmarks of Size-Induced Tumor Progression

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posted on 2023-03-30, 23:23 authored by Manjulata Singh, Shilpaa Mukundan, Maria Jaramillo, Steffi Oesterreich, Shilpa Sant

MCF7 600 μm microtumor exhibit presence of Vimentin on the periphery and outer layer of cells



Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh

Breast Cancer Research Fund



Tumor size is strongly correlated with breast cancer metastasis and patient survival. Increased tumor size contributes to hypoxic and metabolic gradients in the solid tumor and to an aggressive tumor phenotype. Thus, it is important to develop three-dimensional (3D) breast tumor models that recapitulate size-induced microenvironmental changes and, consequently, natural tumor progression in real time without the use of artificial culture conditions or gene manipulations. Here, we developed size-controlled multicellular aggregates (“microtumors”) of subtype-specific breast cancer cells by using non-adhesive polyethylene glycol dimethacrylate hydrogel microwells of defined sizes (150–600 μm). These 3D microtumor models faithfully represent size-induced microenvironmental changes, such as hypoxic gradients, cellular heterogeneity, and spatial distribution of necrotic/proliferating cells. These microtumors acquire hallmarks of tumor progression in the same cell lines within 6 days. Of note, large microtumors of hormone receptor–positive cells exhibited an aggressive phenotype characterized by collective cell migration and upregulation of mesenchymal markers at mRNA and protein level, which was not observed in small microtumors. Interestingly, triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell lines did not show size-dependent upregulation of mesenchymal markers. In conclusion, size-controlled microtumor models successfully recapitulated clinically observed positive association between tumor size and aggressive phenotype in hormone receptor–positive breast cancer while maintaining clinically proven poor correlation of tumor size with aggressive phenotype in TNBC. Such clinically relevant 3D models generated under controlled experimental conditions can serve as precise preclinical models to study mechanisms involved in breast tumor progression as well as antitumor drug effects as a function of tumor progression. Cancer Res; 76(13); 3732–43. ©2016 AACR.

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