Over the last decade the cancer research field has seen a number of advances aimed at increasing the efficacy of treatments, reducing toxic side effects, and decreasing attrition rates of drug candidates. The first is the rise of immunotherapies which incorporate a patient’s own immune system to combat the cancer. In particular, adoptive immunotherapy techniques activate a patient’s T cells ex vivo against specific tumor antigens before infusing the activated T cells back into the patient to target and destroy tumor cells selectively. A second focus has been the incorporation of three dimensional (3D) in vitro testing models. Traditional use of 2D models many times led to attrition rates of drug candidates for cancer reaching 95%, stemming from in vitro drug efficacy values that did not translate to the clinic, as well as unforeseen toxicity issues. 3D models, by comparison, better mimic in vivo conditions found within the target patient, including oxygen and nutrient gradients, increased cell-to-cell and cell-to-ECM interactions, and non-uniform exposure of cells within a 3D structure to the test molecule. In this webinar, the attendee will learn how commonly performed in vitro cancer research procedures can be performed using advanced digital widefield microscopy.
Three areas of focus will be covered:
1. Monitoring directed T cell activation and cell mediated cytotoxicity using co-cultured T cells and 3D target cancer cell models
2. 3D tumoroid invasion within a hydrogel
3. Use of stem cell derived small intestinal organoids for toxicity assessment
Proper label-free and fluorescence image capture techniques will be demonstrated, including the use of z-stacking and montaging to accurately visualize the 3D structures. Image and cellular analysis methods will also be shown to quantify metrics such as stem cell organoid budding, extent of tumoroid invasion, and T cell activation and induced target cell cytotoxicity.