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Nat Protoc. 2012 Mar 22;7(4):749-55. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2012.030.

An isolated tumor perfusion model in mice.

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  • 1Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


The role of stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment has been extensively characterized. We and others have shown that stromal cells may participate in several steps of the metastatic cascade. This protocol describes an isolated tumor perfusion model that enables studies of cancer and stromal cell shedding. It could also be used to study the effects of therapies interfering with the shedding of tumor cells or fragments, circulating (stem) cells or biomarkers. Primary tumors are grown in a microenvironment in which stromal cells express GFP ubiquitously. Tumors are implanted orthotopically or can be implanted ectopically. As a result, all tumor-associated stromal cells express GFP. This technique can be used to detect and study the role of stromal cells in tumor fragments within the circulation in mice. Studying the role of stromal cells in circulating tumor fragments using this model may take 2-10 weeks, depending on the growth rate of the primary tumor.

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