Palaniappan TK, Šlekienė L, Jonasson AK, Gilthorpe J, Gunhaga L
Sci Rep 10 (1) 10472 [2020-06-26; online 2020-06-26]
The development of metastases is the major cause of cancer related death. To develop a standardized method that define the ability of human cancer cells to degrade the basement membrane, e.g. the delamination capacity, is of importance to assess metastatic aggressiveness. We now present the in vivo CAM-Delam assay to visualize and quantify the ability of human cancer cells to delaminate and invade. The method includes seeding cancer cells on the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM), followed by the evaluation of cancer-induced delamination and potential invasion within hours to a few days. By testing a range of human cancer cell lines in the CAM-Delam assay, our results show that the delamination capacity can be divided into four categories and used to quantify metastatic aggressiveness. Our results emphasize the usefulness of this assay for quantifying delamination capacity as a measurement of metastatic aggressiveness, and in unraveling the molecular mechanisms that regulate delamination, invasion, formation of micro-metastases and modulations of the tumor microenvironment. This method will be useful in both the preclinical and clinical characterization of tumor biopsies, and in the validation of compounds that may improve survival in metastatic cancer.