Therapeutic options for cancer have considerably improved over the last decades thanks to a better understanding of cancer cell biology and to the development of 3D tumor models that integrate essential parameters such as cellular heterogeneity, cell-cell and cell-microenvironment interactions.
The aim of our work is to study the mechanisms that control and regulate proliferation dynamics in relation with the organization in 3D of a tumor cell population. We focus on: (i) the regulation of the aggregation of tumor cells to form 3D clusters, (ii) the regulation of the dynamics of proliferation of tumor microdomains in 3D. We investigate how these processes are controlled by the microenvironment, the cell cycle regulation, and the intercellular dialogue. Our work relies on genetically engineered cells expressing fluorescent reporters and biomarkers that are accessible to innovative microscopy strategies both on live or fixed samples and on the development of in vitro assays.
These innovations are implemented to explore the dynamics of the response to anticancer drugs and to develop innovative models for the pharmacological evaluation of new therapeutic agents.