Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Building Nests

Lab-grown 3D culture model of a common lung cancer tumour allows study of the biology and drug screening

20 January 2022

Building Nests

One of the most common types of lung cancer is lung squamous cell carcinoma (LUSC), where tumours form structures called tumour nests. Nests mimic the structure of squamous epithelium – the tissue from which LUSC originates – but curled up in a ball so that the under layer of basal cells is on the outside and cells similar to keratinocytes are on the inside. Researchers now present a 3D model of these tumour nests (pictured using fluorescence microscopy) to better investigate LUSC. LUSC cells were grown in different protein mixes: collagen I (right), a protein blend called Matrigel (left) or both (middle). All models developed into cancer organoids with basal-like cells on the outside (highlighted in green) and keratinocyte-like cells on the inside (red). This effect was more pronounced when the cells were added to protein mixes as aggregates of cells (bottom) instead of single cells (top).

Written by Lux Fatimathas

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