Veelken Ca, Bakker G, Drell D, Friedl P, Methods. 2017 Jul 21. pii: S1046-2023(17)30026-9.
single spheroid cell used in automated assay system

Organotypic in vitro culture of 3D spheroids in an extracellular matrix represent a promising cancer therapy prediction model for personalized medicine screens due to their controlled experimental conditions and physiological similarities to in vivo conditions.

As in tumors in vivo, 3D invasion cultures identify intratumor heterogeneity of growth, invasion and apoptosis induction by cytotoxic therapy. Here we combine in vitro 3D spheroid invasion culture with irradiation and automated nucleus-based segmentation for single cell analysis to quantify growth, survival, apoptosis and invasion response during experimental radiation therapy.

As output, multi-parameter histogram-based representations deliver an integrated insight into therapy response and resistance. This workflow may be suited for high-throughput screening and identification of invasive and therapy-resistant tumor sub-populations.