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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2000 Nov-Dec;36(2-3):179-92.

Spheroids in radiobiology and photodynamic therapy.

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Laboratoire de Recherche en Oncologie, Centre Alexis Vautrin, 54511, cedex, Vandoeuvre-Nancy, France.


Spheroids are tridimensional aggregates of tumor cells coming from one or several cell clones. This model, which mimics the micro-tumors structure and some of their properties, shows oxygen, pH and nutrient gradients inducing a necrotic area in the center of the spheroid. Analysis of spheroids, cultured under static or stirred conditions, can be performed on whole spheroids or dissociated spheroids. The spheroids sensitivity to ionizing radiation and photodynamic therapy can be altered by oxygen status, damage repair, intercellular commmunications and apoptosis induction, as in experimental tumor models. In radiobiology, the similarity of radiation response between spheroids and tumor xenograft bearing mice makes the spheroids to be a good alternative model to in vivo irradiation studies. In photodynamic therapy, spheroids lead to a better understanding of the own tumor response without interactions with vascular system. Finally, despite the quality of spheroid model, only the use of new technology for analysis of spheroid populations will help to increase their experimental use, particularly in preclinical oncology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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