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Cancers 2018, 10(8), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers10080255

Viability Assessment Following Anticancer Treatment Requires Single-Cell Visualization

Department of Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1Z2, Canada
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Received: 16 July 2018 / Revised: 31 July 2018 / Accepted: 31 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract

A subset of cells within solid tumors become highly enlarged and enter a state of dormancy (sustained proliferation arrest) in response to anticancer treatment. Although dormant cancer cells might be scored as “dead” in conventional preclinical assays, they remain viable, secrete growth-promoting factors, and can give rise to progeny with stem cell-like properties. Furthermore, cancer cells exhibiting features of apoptosis (e.g., caspase-3 activation) following genotoxic stress can undergo a reversal process called anastasis and survive. Consistent with these observations, single-cell analysis of adherent cultures (solid tumor-derived cell lines with differing p53 status) has demonstrated that virtually all cells—irrespective of their size and morphology—that remain adherent to the culture dish for a long time (weeks) after treatment with anticancer agents exhibit the ability to metabolize 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl- tetrazolium bromide (MTT). The purpose of this commentary is to briefly review these findings and discuss the significance of single-cell (versus population averaged) observation methods for assessment of cancer cell viability and metabolic activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: single-cell analysis; high throughput assays; solid tumor-derived cell lines; cisplatin; ionizing radiation; MTT single-cell analysis; high throughput assays; solid tumor-derived cell lines; cisplatin; ionizing radiation; MTT
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Mirzayans, R.; Andrais, B.; Murray, D. Viability Assessment Following Anticancer Treatment Requires Single-Cell Visualization. Cancers 2018, 10, 255.

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