Cancer Cell Culture: Diversity of Cells in the Tumor Microenvironment (TME)

Cancer Cell Culture: Diversity of Cells in the Tumor Microenvironment (TME)


The primary tumor is the first area where cancer cells proliferate in tissues Tumor growth is sustained by a heterogeneous population of cells the tumor microenvironment or TME The development of this microenvironment and the proliferation of cancer cells are reliant on many other cell types such as mesenchymal stem cells fibroblasts pericytes and immune cells All of them contribute to sustaining the tumor by, for example growing new blood vessels, supporting tumor metabolism or protecting from immune cells For researchers to study the spread and development of cancer it is important to investigate the complex interactions that occur as the tumor grows Two ​in vitro​ culture techniques are predominantly used to study cancer cells One of these two cultures is the traditional culture where the media is a mixture of different ingredients, containing serum as a supplement that can have unknown effects on the tumor cells’ growth Long-term cultures may also lead to fibroblast overgrowth and therefore to the loss of invasive malignant cells The second method is a culture based on the PDX method where human cancer cells are grown in a physiological foreign environment in a mouse for example PDX long-term cultures are sometimes overgrown by tumor fibroblasts The proliferation of each cell type in the tumor environment is influenced by the ​in vitro technique used But too often, the TME is not taken into account As the technique used impacts the cancer cell’s and the TME’s heterogeneity scientists should be able to monitor the proportion of each cell type in the tumor microenvironment and try to better understand their complex interactions Isolating malignant cells would enable scientists to better investigate the initial characteristics of the carcinogenic cell population, like, for example their potential morphological, genetic, metabolomic, proteomic and metastatic variations. In particular, scientists should try to generate an ​in vitro​ culture capable of maintaining the initial population of cancer cells over a long period of time. In order to develop more effective treatments against cancer not only malignant cell heterogeneity should be taken into account but also its full microenvironment as it hosts a heterogeneous population of cells that impact the growth and proliferation of cancer. To learn more about our cancer cell culture solutions, visit promocell.com.

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