Publications

Publications

Quantitative Analysis of human Cancer Cell Extravasation Using Intravital Imaging

Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1458:27-37

Willetts L, Bond D, Stoletov 1, Lewis JD

Abstract

Metastasis, or the spread of cancer cells from a primary tumor to distant sites, is the leading cause of cancer-associated death. Metastasis is a complex multi-step process comprised of invasion, intravasation, survival in circulation, extravasation, and formation of metastatic colonies. Currently, in vitro assays are limited in their ability to investigate these intricate processes and do not faithfully reflect metastasis as it occurs in vivo. Traditional in vivo models of metastasis are limited by their ability to visualize the seemingly sporadic behavior of where and when cancer cells spread (Reymond et al., Nat Rev Cancer 13:858-870, 2013). The avian embryo model of metastasis is a powerful platform to study many of the critical steps in the metastatic cascade including the migration, extravasation, and invasion of human cancer cells in vivo (Sung et al., Nat Commun 6:7164, 2015; Leong et al., Cell Rep 8, 1558-1570, 2014; Kain et al., Dev Dyn 243:216-28, 2014; Leong et al., Nat Protoc 5:1406-17, 2010; Zijlstra et al., Cancer Cell 13:221-234, 2008; Palmer et al., J Vis Exp 51:2815, 2011). The chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) is a readily accessible and well-vascularized tissue that surrounds the developing embryo. When the chicken embryo is grown in a shell-less, ex ovo environment, the nearly transparent CAM provides an ideal environment for high-resolution fluorescent microcopy approaches. In this model, the embryonic chicken vasculature and labeled cancer cells can be visualized simultaneously to investigate specific steps in the metastatic cascade including extravasation. When combined with the proper image analysis tools, the ex ovo chicken embryo model offers a cost-effective and high-throughput platform for the quantitative analysis of tumor cell metastasis in a physiologically relevant in vivo setting. Here we discuss detailed procedures to quantify cancer cell extravasation in the shell-less chicken embryo model with advanced fluorescence microscopy techniques.

PubMed

Annual Terwillegar Trail Run and Walk Fundraiser

It was a beautiful crisp fall morning for a 10 Km trail run or 7.5 Km walk through the Terwillegar ravine on Saturday, September 29th. The run/walk, hosted by the Terwillegar Trail Run/Walk and the Alberta Cancer Foundation,  is in its 7th year. Its goal is to bring families and friends together to enjoy the outdoors and ultimately raise funds for prostate cancer research.

John Lewis’ research group was out in force; represented by John Lewis, Catalina Vasquez, Arun Raturi, Perrin Beatty and Abbie Coros. Despite the fact that, as one of the run/walk organizers Doug Mitchell pointed out to the participants, John ran in 15-year-old tennis shoes, the Lewis group runners ran well and had a great time!

Funds raised by the Terwillegar Trail Run and Walk go to support cancer research in Alberta. Check out the Alberta Cancer Foundations’ “Dollars at Work” to read about how these funds have been used to support the research from APCaRI members Dr. Frank Wuest and Dr. John Lewis’ labs!

With just over 100 participants this year the 2018 Terwillegar Trail Run/Walk raised over $21 000 for prostate cancer research! You can still donate to this awesome fundraiser, just go to Alberta Cancer Foundation TTRW and click on the Donate Now button!

- Perrin Beatty