3-D Breast Carcinoma Model
Ray Mattingly, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology at Wayne State University, has developed a tractable, in vitro model of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) based on 3-D overlay culture in reconstituted basement membrane.
“Tumors that are the hardest to treat are those that grow slowly but relentlessly,” he said. “Benign breast tumor—ductal carcinoma in situ—is the fourth most common diagnosed cancer in the U.S. It’s hard to study because these lesions are tiny. What we did was to grow a model in a gel, to study and genetically profile.”
Dr. Mattingly’s group has applied and cross-validated whole-genome microarray and digital gene-expression (DGE) analyses to explore the networks and pathways that underlie DCIS. “Not too many people are working on a progression model,” he reported. “We started doing this whole-gene profiling, but we still weren’t getting a full picture.”
DGE analysis revealed a broad range of products that are transcribed outside of standard (NCBI 36.3) genes models. With digital gene expression there’s no preconceived notion of what you are going to find, Dr. Mattingly said. “With DGE, the real work is to get someone who knows what they’re doing to analyze the data. Bioinformatics is an emerging skillset needed in this field, and we are getting an emerging picture of ductal carcinoma that will progress and those lesions that won’t do anything. We are hoping to make this a prognostic tool.”