Full Title: Combining 3D Cell Culture Models and Chemical Imaging for Understanding Fibroblast-Epithelial Interactions During Early Breast Cancel Progression
Carcinomas, including skin, breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers, comprise the most common types of cancer in the United States. The tumor microenvironment, or stroma, plays a significant role in regulating the progression of confined carcinomas. Many stromal cell types have been implicated in disrupting tissue homeostasis and tumor progression. We have developed a three- dimensional cell culture model to investigate how fibroblasts in particular influence epithelial proliferation and invasion. We also use Fourier Transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopic imaging to correlate label-free chemical signatures with cancerous phenotypes in cell culture and tissue. By co-culturing human mammary fibroblasts with normal and cancerous mammary epithelial cells, we can begin to understand the paracrine interactions involved in controlling early breast cancer progression.
Sarah Holton is a BioEngineering student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL