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Intramucosal inoculation of squamous cell carcinoma cells in mice for tumor immune profiling and treatment response assessment

Oweida, A.J., Bhatia, S., Van Court, B. et al.

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a debilitating and deadly disease with a high prevalence of recurrence and treatment failure. To develop better therapeutic strategies, understanding tumor microenvironmental factors that contribute to the treatment resistance is important. A major impediment to understanding disease mechanisms and improving therapy has been a lack of murine cell lines that resemble the aggressive and metastatic nature of human HNSCCs. Furthermore, a majority of murine models employ subcutaneous implantations of tumors which lack important physiological features of the head and neck region, including high vascular density, extensive lymphatic vasculature, and resident mucosal flora. The purpose of this study is to develop and characterize an orthotopic model of HNSCC. We employ two genetically distinct murine cell lines and established tumors in the buccal mucosa of mice. We optimize collagenase-based tumor digestion methods for the optimal recovery of single cells from established tumors. The data presented here show that mice develop highly vascularized tumors that metastasize to regional lymph nodes. Single-cell multiparametric mass cytometry analysis shows the presence of diverse immune populations with myeloid cells representing the majority of all immune cells. The model proposed in this study has applications in cancer biology, tumor immunology, and preclinical development of novel therapeutics. The resemblance of the orthotopic model to clinical features of human disease will provide a tool for enhanced translation and improved patient outcomes.

Citation

Oweida, A.J., Bhatia, S., Van Court, B. et al. "Intramucosal inoculation of squamous cell carcinoma cells in mice for tumor immune profiling and treatment response assessment" Journal of Visual Experiments (2019): doi: 10.3791/59195.