Site-Specific Cytomorphology of Disseminated PC-3 Prostate Cancer Cells Visualized in Vivo With Fluorescent Proteins

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Circulating tumor cells (CTC) may reach multiple organ sites. However, CTC seeding and growth in distant organs is not random. Each metastatic site may contain a specific subpopulation of the original metastatic tumor capable of growing at that site. The fluorescent orthotopic prostate cancer model (PC-3-GFP) model was used for immunomagnetic capture of CTC. The captured CTC were efficiently cultivated in vitro. PC-3-GFP cells were also isolated from various metastatic sites, grown in vitro and examined under fluorescence microscopy. The differential morphology was compared of primary tumor cells, CTC and disseminated (DTC) from multiple metastatic sites, from nude mice with orthotopic PC-3-GFP. The cultured captured CTC and DTC from various organs have distinctive morphologies. Distinct cancer cell morphologies were observed at different metastatic sites as well as among CTC. The distinct morphologies were maintained during in vitro culture. The results demonstrate extensive tumor heterogeneity that could account for the widely different behavior of cancer cells in a single tumor. Further hetereogeneity testing would be a big promise for personalizing the cancer treatment in the future.

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