Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cancer Metastasis: Collective Invasion in Heterogeneous Multicellular Systems

Adrien Hallou, Joel Jennings, Alexandre Kabla
Heterogeneity within tumour cell populations is associated with an increase in malignancy and appears to play an important role during cancer metastasis. Using in silico experiments, we study the interplay between collective behaviours and cell motility heterogeneities in a model system. Working with tumour spheroids that contain two non-proliferating cell populations of different motile properties, we explore the conditions required for maximal invasion into surrounding tissues. We show emerging spatial patterns of cellular organisation and invasion which are consistent with in vitro and in vivo observations. This demonstrates that mechanical interactions at the cellular level are sufficient to account for many of the observed morphologies of invasion and that heterogeneity in cell motility can be more important than average mechanical properties in controlling the fate of large cell populations.
link: http://arxiv.org/abs/1501.00065