There is overwhelming evidence that in vitro three-dimensional tumor cell cultures more accurately reflect the complex in vivo microenvironment than simple two-dimensional cell monolayers.
However, most currently available three-dimensional techniques are time consuming and/or lack reproducibility.
A new paper, “Advances in establishment and analysis of three-dimensional tumor spheroid-based functional assays for target validation and drug evaluation,” reviews a new toolkit of reproducible three-dimensional tumor spheroid models for dynamic, automated, quantitative imaging and analysis that is compatible with routine high-throughput preclinical studies. Not only do these microplate methods measure three-dimensional tumor growth, they facilitate a range of functional assays exemplifying additional key hallmarks of cancer — cell motility and matrix invasion.
Fully automated analysis using a Celigo cytometer was validated for tumor spheroid growth and invasion against standard image analysis techniques, with excellent reproducibility and significantly increased throughput. The study validated how the suite of functional assays enhanced the biological relevance of early preclinical cancer studies.
Tags: automated, drug evaluation, dynamic, quantitative imaging high-throughput preclinical studies, target validation, three-dimensional, three-dimensional tumor spheroid, tumor spheroid-based functional assays