Iron Retention in Nonproliferative Cancer Cells Allows for Tracking by MRI: An In Vivo Assay for Studying Cancer Cell Dormancy
Donna H Murrell 1,2 , Fiona Dickson 1 , Amanda M Hamilton 1 , and Paula J Foster 1,2
Imaging, Robarts Research Institute, London,
Biophysics, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
Monitoring the fate of dormant cancer cells is important
because these provide a reservoir of viable cells that
contribute to relapse, even after treatment appears
successful. Here, we demonstrate that iron-based MRI
cell tracking can be used to study nonproliferative
cancer cells in metastatic and primary cancer models. We
present 3D MRI of the mouse brain illustrating
persisting signal voids over time and show these
represent nonproliferative cancer cells. This work shows
varying dormancy profiles in cancer, and the ability for
nonproliferative cells to persist through therapy.
Understanding this dormant cell population is vital to
prevent tumor recurrence in patients.
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