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J Vis Exp. 2010 Aug 24;(42). pii: 1942. doi: 10.3791/1942.

Experimental metastasis assay.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Genetics, University of Rochester, USA.

Abstract

Metastasis is the leading cause of death in cancer patients. To understand the mechanism of metastasis, an experimental metastasis assay was established using immunodeficient mice. This article delineates the procedures involved in this assay, including sample preparation, intravenous injection, and culturing cells from lung metastases. Briefly, a pre-determined number of human cancer cells were prepared in vitro and directly injected into the circulation of immunodeficient mice through their tail veins. A small number of cells survive the turbulence in the circulation and grow as metastases in internal organs, such as lung. The injected mice are dissected after a certain period. The tissue distribution of metastases is determined under a dissecting microscope. The number of metastases in a specific tissue is counted and it directly correlates with the metastatic ability of the injected cancer cells. The arisen metastases are isolated and cultured in vitro as cell lines, which often show enhanced metastatic abilities than the parental line when injected again into immunodeficient mice. These highly metastatic derivatives become useful tools for identifying genes or molecular pathways that regulate metastatic progression.

PMID:
20811329
PMCID:
PMC3168240
DOI:
10.3791/1942
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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