How the fluid between cells affects tumors

July 25, 2012, The Journal of Visualized Experiments
This image diagrams the phenomena this experiment replicates, interstitial fluid flow. Credit: JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments

There are many factors that affect tumor invasion, the process where a tumor grows beyond the tissue where it first developed. While factors like genetics, tissue type and environmental exposure affect tumor metastasis and invasion, physical forces like fluid flow remain a poorly understood component of tumor invasion.

A new video article in JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, describes a that allows researchers to study and test the of a growing tumor. The technique is valuable because it allows scientists to assay attributable to extracellular fluid flow in vitro and better understand the effects of such physical changes on a tumor. The study focuses specifically on a type of extracellular fluid called interstitial fluid, which flows between cells in a tissue. This procedure is a significant first step to develop an in vitro system that better mimics what happens within a growing tumor in the patient.

"Our goal is to understand how physical forces affect how behave. By understanding factors influencing why a tumor does or does not spread, we will have a much better understanding of which therapies will affect the tumor," said the article's author Dr. Adrian Shieh of Drexel University.

As tumors grow, they promote , or growth of new blood vessels, within the tumor itself and the surrounding tissue. Due to the leaky nature of these new blood vessels, there is an increase in the interstitial fluid pressure and flow. Dr. Shieh notes that current research approaches and therapies are not designed for targeting, addressing or understanding these physiological changes. The procedure published in JoVE demonstrates a better way to measure and understand the effects of interstitial fluid flow on tumor cells.

To mimic this physiological process, cells are embedded in a collagen matrix and pressure is applied to the liquid environment. This pressure causes the liquid to flow around the cell, mimicking in vivo conditions of a developing tumor. This allows scientists to study tumor growth and evaluate potential new therapies on cells in culture systems that more closely resemble physiological conditions.

Dr. Shieh hopes that publication of this article in JoVE's video format will bring more awareness to the study of interstitial in tumor cells and that it will demonstrate an accessible system to study the phenomenon. He emphasizes, "For many new techniques, even when accompanied by a detailed text protocol, it is very difficult for someone to pick up the procedure and correctly perform the assay. Tremendous expertise and hours of practice are needed to successfully complete this procedure. This multimedia publication format helps demonstrate the finesse required to perform this technique."

Explore further: Tumor environment keeps tumor-fighting T cells away

More information: Shieh et. al.: www.jove.com/video/4159/three- … or-measuring-effects

Related Stories

Tumor environment keeps tumor-fighting T cells away

September 19, 2011
Tumors have an arsenal of tricks to help them sidestep the immune system. A study published on September 19 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine reveals a new trick -- the ability to keep tumor-fighting T cells out by ...

Researchers create cellular automation model to study complex tumor-host role in cancer

March 27, 2012
Cancer remains a medical mystery – despite all of the research efforts devoted to understanding and controlling it. The most sought-after tumor model is one that would be able to formulate theoretical and computational ...

Recommended for you

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

January 18, 2018
Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial ...

Modular gene enhancer promotes leukemia and regulates effectiveness of chemotherapy

January 18, 2018
Every day, billions of new blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. The gene Myc is known to play an important role in this process, and is also known to play a role in cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research ...

These foods may up your odds for colon cancer

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—Chowing down on red meat, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase your long-term risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.

The pill lowers ovarian cancer risk, even for smokers

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—It's known that use of the birth control pill is tied to lower odds for ovarian cancer, but new research shows the benefit extends to smokers or women who are obese.

Researchers develop swallowable test to detect pre-cancerous Barrett's esophagus

January 17, 2018
Investigators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center have developed a simple, swallowable test for early detection of Barrett's esophagus that offers promise ...

Scientists zoom in to watch DNA code being read

January 17, 2018
Scientists have unveiled incredible images of how the DNA code is read and interpreted—revealing new detail about one of the fundamental processes of life.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.