Clinical Technoshots

Clinical Technoshot: Isolation of Micrometastases Alive Cells

Marco Giorgio

Marco Giorgio

Clinical Technoshot Coordinator

Location Building 13
Floor 2nd
Via Adamello 16, Milano

At the end of the nineteenth century it has been observed that the tumor was initially a local disease that then expanded, gradually and in order, until it became systemic. Cancer research has shed light on much of the process of spreading (metastasis - far position) the tumor throughout the body. It is known that metastatic cancer cells often die or remain dormant for several years at a distant site before growing again and forming a secondary tumor. Furthermore, though metastatic process may involve any part of the body, different types of cancer are more likely to spread and effectively expand to certain sites than others.

From these evidences, it is assumed that specific mechanisms of adaptation favor the survival and the growing of metastases in the distal site. However, in which way local tissue environment or anticancer treatments select the different metastatic phenotypes of and whether genetic abnormalities promote the phenotypic plasticity of metastasis is unclear.

The goal of this TechnoShot is to set up the technology to isolate living and intact small metastatic tumors in dynamic models for further analysis at the level of single cells. According to the TNC classification of the UICC, we refer to micrometastases in the case of extravasation and implantation of cancer cells for an extension between 0.2 and 2.0 mm in diameter, which correspond to hundreds or a few thousand cells. Staining with vital probes coupled with microdissection will be applied to liver and lung tissues targeted by micrometastasis at different stages of tumorigenesis. Isolated cells will be investigated by single-cell omics to evaluate heterogeneity of their phenotypes. The analysis of tissue surrounding the micrometastasis will be included to detail the microenvironment state and thus determine those tissue factors that induce survival, dormancy or growth. 


Massimo Stendardo