Rapidly quantifying drug sensitivity of dispersed and clumped breast cancer cells by mass profiling

Bioengineering Interdepartmental Program, Los Angeles, California, USA.
The Analyst (Impact Factor: 4.11). 10/2012; 137(23). DOI: 10.1039/c2an36058f
Source: PubMed


Live cell mass profiling is a promising new approach for rapidly quantifying responses to therapeutic agents through picogram-scale changes in cell mass over time. A significant barrier in mass profiling is the inability of existing methods to handle pleomorphic cellular clusters and clumps, which are more commonly present in patient-derived samples or tissue cultures than are isolated single cells. Here we demonstrate automated Live Cell Interferometry (LCI) as a rapid and accurate quantifier of the sensitivity of single cell and colony-forming human breast cancer cell lines to the HER2-directed monoclonal antibody, trastuzumab (Herceptin). The relative sensitivities of small samples (<500 cells) of four breast cancer cell lines were determined tens-to-hundreds of times faster than is possible with traditional proliferation assays. These LCI advances in clustered sample assessment and speed open up the possibility for therapeutic response testing of patient-derived solid tumor samples, which are viable only for short periods ex vivo and likely to be in the form of cell aggregates and clusters.

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