proliferation and migration of cells from a re-attaching spheroid.
Spheroids as an in vitro
model for tumour dormancy: One of our initial discoveries in the spheroid
culture model of ovarian cancer metastasis was that cells reduced AKT kinase activity
and adopted a quiescent state. This explains how spheroids can remain largely
resistant to standard cytotoxic chemotherapeutics. This process is rapidly
reversible since ovarian cancer spheroids undergo a “dormant-to-proliferative
switch” when they re-attach to grow and migrate. Extending from this work, we
have now uncovered additional characteristics of ovarian tumour dormancy in
spheroids, including autophagy, stress metabolic signalling, and
epithelial-mesenchymal transition. These represent some of the major projects
currently being investigated in the lab.