In Vitro Optimization of EtNBS-PDT against Hypoxic Tumor Environments with a Tiered, High-Content, 3D Model Optical Screening Platform
ABSTRACT Hypoxia and acidosis are widely recognized as major contributors to the development of treatment resistant cancer. For patients with disseminated metastatic lesions, such as most women with ovarian cancer (OvCa), the progression to treatment resistant disease is almost always fatal. Numerous therapeutic approaches have been developed to eliminate treatment resistant carcinoma, including novel biologic, chemo, radiation, and photodynamic therapy (PDT) regimens. Recently, PDT using the cationic photosensitizer EtNBS was found to be highly effective against therapeutically unresponsive hypoxic and acidic OvCa cellular populations in vitro. To optimize this treatment regimen, we developed a tiered, high-content, image-based screening approach utilizing a biologically relevant OvCa 3D culture model to investigate a small library of side-chain modified EtNBS derivatives. The uptake, localization, and photocytotoxicity of these compounds on both the cellular and nodular levels were observed to be largely mediated by their respective ethyl side chain chemical alterations. In particular, EtNBS and its hydroxyl-terminated derivative (EtNBS-OH) were found to have similar pharmacological parameters, such as their nodular localization patterns and uptake kinetics. Interestingly, these two molecules were found to induce dramatically different therapeutic outcomes: EtNBS was found to be more effective in killing the hypoxic, nodule core cells with superior selectivity, while EtNBS-OH was observed to trigger widespread structural degradation of nodules. This breakdown of the tumor architecture can improve the therapeutic outcome and is known to synergistically enhance the antitumor effects of front-line chemotherapeutic regimens. These results, which would not have been predicted or observed using traditional monolayer or in vivo animal screening techniques, demonstrate the powerful capabilities of 3D in vitro screening approaches for the selection and optimization of therapeutic agents for the targeted destruction of specific cellular subpopulations.
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ABSTRACT: A major challenge in creating and optimizing therapeutics in the fight against cancer is visualizing and understanding the microscale spatiotemporal treatment response dynamics that occur in patients. This is especially true for photodynamic therapy (PDT), where therapeutic optimization relies on understanding the interplay between factors such as photosensitizer localization and uptake, in addition to light dose and delivery rate. In vitro 3D culture systems that recapitulate many of the biological features of human disease are powerful platforms for carrying out detailed studies on PDT response and resistance. Current techniques for visualizing these models, however, often lack accuracy due to the perturbative nature of the sample preparation, with light attenuation complicating the study of intact models. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an ideal method for the long-term, non-perturbative study of in vitro models and their response to PDT. Monitoring the response of 3D models to PDT by time-lapse OCT methods promises to provide new perspectives and open the way to cancer treatment methodologies that can be translated towards the clinic.Israel Journal of Chemistry 09/2012; 52(8-9):728-744. DOI:10.1002/ijch.201200009 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Clinical therapies have traditionally been developed using two-dimensional (2D) cell culture systems, which fail to accurately capture tissue complexity. Therefore, three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures are more attractive platforms in order to integrate multiple cues that arise from extracellular matrix and cells, closer to an in vivo scenario. Here we report the development of a 3D cellular model for the in vitro assessment of the outcome of oxygen- and drug-dependent therapies, exemplified by photodynamic therapy (PDT). Using a synthetic self-assembling peptide as cellular scaffold (RAD16-I), we were able to recreate the in vivo limitation of oxygen and drug diffusion and its biological effect, which is the development of cellular resistance to therapy. For the first time, the production and decay of the cytotoxic species singlet oxygen could be observed in a 3D cell culture. Results revealed that the intrinsic mechanism of action is maintained in both systems and, hence, the dynamic mass transfer effects accounted for the major differences in efficacy between 2D and 3D models. We propose that this methodological approach will help to improve the efficacy of future oxygen- and drug-dependent therapies such as PDT.Tissue Engineering Part A 02/2013; DOI:10.1089/ten.TEA.2012.0661 · 4.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Epithelial ovarian cancer (OvCa) is associated with high mortality and, as the majority (>75%) of women with OvCa have metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis, rates of survival have not changed appreciably over 30 years. A mechanistic understanding of OvCa initiation and progression is hindered by the complexity of genetic and/or environmental initiating events and lack of clarity regarding the cell(s) or tissue(s) of origin. Metastasis of OvCa involves direct extension or exfoliation of cells and cellular aggregates into the peritoneal cavity, survival of matrix-detached cells in a complex ascites fluid phase and subsequent adhesion to the mesothelium lining covering abdominal organs to establish secondary lesions containing host stromal and inflammatory components. Development of experimental models to recapitulate this unique mechanism of metastasis presents a remarkable scientific challenge, and many approaches used to study other solid tumors (for example, lung, colon and breast) are not transferable to OvCa research given the distinct metastasis pattern and unique tumor microenvironment (TME). This review will discuss recent progress in the development and refinement of experimental models to study OvCa. Novel cellular, three-dimensional organotypic, and ex vivo models are considered and the current in vivo models summarized. The review critically evaluates currently available genetic mouse models of OvCa, the emergence of xenopatients and the utility of the hen model to study OvCa prevention, tumorigenesis, metastasis and chemoresistance. As these new approaches more accurately recapitulate the complex TME, it is predicted that new opportunities for enhanced understanding of disease progression, metastasis and therapeutic response will emerge.Oncogene advance online publication, 12 August 2013; doi:10.1038/onc.2013.321.Oncogene 08/2013; DOI:10.1038/onc.2013.321 · 8.56 Impact Factor