Cancer cells in the tumor core exhibit spatially coordinated migration patterns

Nom de la revue
Journal of Cell Science
Ralitza Staneva, Fatima El Marjou, Jorge Barbazan, Denis Krndija, Sophie Richon, Andrew Clark, Danijela Matic Vignjevic

In early stages of metastasis, cancer cells exit the primary tumor and enter the vasculature. Although most studies have focused on the tumor invasive front, cancer cells from the tumor core can also potentially metastasize. To address cell motility in the tumor core, we imaged tumor explants from spontaneously-forming tumors in real time using long-term two-photon microscopy. Cancer cells in the tumor core are remarkably dynamic and exhibit correlated migration patterns, giving rise to local "currents" and large-scale tissue dynamics. Although cells exhibit stop-and-start migration with intermittent pauses, pausing does not appear to be required during division. Use of pharmacological inhibitors indicates that migration patterns in tumors are actively driven by the actin cytoskeleton. Under these conditions, we also observed a relationship between migration speed and correlation length, suggesting that cells in tumors are near a jamming transition. Our study provides new insight into the dynamics of cancer cells in the tumor core, opening new avenues of research in understanding the migratory properties of cancer cells and later metastasis.