Live imaging of drug responses in the tumor microenvironment in mouse models of breast cancer

Nakasone, E. S., Askautrud, H. A., Egeblad, M. (2013) Live imaging of drug responses in the tumor microenvironment in mouse models of breast cancer. Journal of Visualized Experiments (73). ISSN 1940-087X (Electronic)1940-087X (Linking)

DOI: 10.3791/50088


The tumor microenvironment plays a pivotal role in tumor initiation, progression, metastasis, and the response to anti-cancer therapies. Three-dimensional co-culture systems are frequently used to explicate tumor-stroma interactions, including their role in drug responses. However, many of the interactions that occur in vivo in the intact microenvironment cannot be completely replicated in these in vitro settings. Thus, direct visualization of these processes in real-time has become an important tool in understanding tumor responses to therapies and identifying the interactions between cancer cells and the stroma that can influence these responses. Here we provide a method for using spinning disk confocal microscopy of live, anesthetized mice to directly observe drug distribution, cancer cell responses and changes in tumor-stroma interactions following administration of systemic therapy in breast cancer models. We describe procedures for labeling different tumor components, treatment of animals for observing therapeutic responses, and the surgical procedure for exposing tumor tissues for imaging up to 40 hours. The results obtained from this protocol are time-lapse movies, in which such processes as drug infiltration, cancer cell death and stromal cell migration can be evaluated using image analysis software.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: diseases & disorders > cancer
diseases & disorders
Investigative techniques and equipment
organism description > animal
diseases & disorders > cancer > cancer types > breast cancer
Investigative techniques and equipment > imaging
organism description > model organism
organism description > animal > mammal > rodent > mouse
diseases & disorders > cancer > cancer types
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL Cancer Center Shared Resources > Animal Services
CSHL labs > Egeblad lab
School of Biological Sciences > Publications
CSHL Cancer Center Program > Signal Transduction
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 2013
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2013 19:55
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2015 14:50
PMCID: PMC3639729
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