In this one-hour event, guest expert Dr. Martin Jechlinger (Senior Scientist and Head of VISION Laboratory, MOLIT Institute) discusses his group's research into cell fates during tumorigenesis and survival-mechanisms of treatment refractory cells. He presents on how the combination of using tumor organoids as a stochastic tumor model with long‑term light‑sheet microscopy enables novel insights for breast cancer research.
While it is known that cancer clone evolution takes place within tissue ecosystem habitats, the mechanism by which tumors arise from a few malignant cells within an intact epithelium is unknown. This is mainly due to the inaccessibility of this process to longitudinal imaging and a lack of systems that model the progression of a fraction of transformed cells within a tissue.
Martin Jechlinger and his research group developed a new methodology based on primary mouse mammary epithelial acini in which oncogenes can be switched on in single cells within an otherwise normal epithelial layer. They combined this stochastic breast tumor induction model with Bruker's Luxendo InVi SPIM inverted light-sheet fluorescence microscope to study longitudinal single-cell behavior over days, and to analyze cell fates utilizing a newly developed image data analysis workflow.
This integrated approach enabled the group to discover that small, local clusters of transformed cells form tumors, while isolated transformed cells do not. This combination, a true stochastic tumor model with the ability to image single-cell fates, will successfully bridge the gap between genetically modified model systems and the clinical situation, ultimately helping gain novel insights into breast cancer evolution.