Approach to a multiparametric sensor-chip-based tumor chemosensitivity assay


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Abstract

Although not widely practiced by oncologists, in vitro tumor chemosensitivity assays (TCA) have proved to increase the lifetime of tumor patients in prospective clinical trials. By individualizing cancer therapy, they can support the clinician's decision which is usually based on empirically retrieved data and thereby prevent inadequate chemotherapy. We present the first results of a new sensor-chip-based technology which might be useful for a multiparametric TCA. In particular, the aspect of dynamic on-line data generation on intact cellular specimens is a major difference to alternative assays. A series of experiments has been performed on cell lines and human tumor explants. Cell cultures and tumor tissue explants were placed on miniaturized silicon and glass sensor chips. The sensor data currently analyze metabolic profiles (rates of extracellular acidification and cellular oxygen consumption) and changes in cell morphology (monitoring of electric impedance). With the cell lines, drug-associated cellular signals have been detected with all three parameters, while primary explants so far caused metabolic responses only. In particular, cellular respiration or mitochondrial activity seems to be a most sensitive indicator of acute cytotoxic effects. The experimental results were achieved using different test versions. Besides giving a status report, the theoretical potential and current problems of sensor chip technology in TCA is discussed.

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