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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2013 Oct;25(5):659-71. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2013 Jul 26.

Preclinical intravital microscopy of the tumour-stroma interface: invasion, metastasis, and therapy response.

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David H. Koch Center for Applied Research of Genitourinary Cancers, Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.


Key steps of cancer progression and therapy response depend upon interactions between cancer cells with the reactive tumour microenvironment. Intravital microscopy enables multi-modal and multi-scale monitoring of cancer progression as a dynamic step-wise process within anatomic and functional niches provided by the microenvironment. These niches deliver cell-derived and matrix-derived signals that enable cell subsets or single cancer cells to survive, migrate, grow, undergo dormancy, and escape immune surveillance. Beyond basic research, intravital microscopy has reached preclinical application to identify mechanisms of tumour-stroma interactions and outcome. We here summarise how n-dimensional 'dynamic histopathology' of tumours by intravital microscopy shapes mechanistic insight into cell-cell and cell-tissue interactions that underlie single-cell and collective cancer invasion, metastatic seeding at distant sites, immune evasion, and therapy responses.

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