Tracking the tumor invasion front using long-term fluidic tumoroid culture

Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 7;7(1):10784. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-10874-1.


The analysis of invading leader cells at the tumor invasion front is of significant interest as these cells may possess a coordinated functional and molecular phenotype which can be targeted for therapy. However, such analyses are currently limited by available technologies. Here, we report a fluidic device for long-term three-dimensional tumoroid culture which recapitulated the tumor invasion front, allowing for both quantification of invasive potential and molecular characterization of invasive leader cells. Preliminary analysis of the invasion front indicated an association with cell proliferation and higher expression of growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15). This device makes real-time tracking of invading leader cell phenotypes possible and has potential for use with patient material for clinical risk stratification and personalized medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Culture Techniques*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 15 / genetics
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 15 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology*


  • GDF15 protein, human
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 15
  • Collagen