Molecular characterization of organ-specific metastatic lesions, which distinguish them from the primary tumor, will provide a better understanding of tissue specific adaptations that regulate metastatic progression. Using an orthotopic xenograft model, we have isolated isogenic metastatic human breast cancer cell lines directly from organ explants that are phenotypically distinct from the primary tumor cell line. Label-free Raman spectroscopy was used and informative spectral bands were ascertained as differentiators of organ-specific metastases as opposed to the presence of a single universal marker. Decision algorithms derived from the Raman spectra unambiguously identified these isogenic cell lines as unique biological entities - a finding reinforced through metabolomic analyses that indicated tissue of origin metabolite distinctions between the cell lines. Notably, complementarity of the metabolomics and Raman datasets was found. Our findings provide evidence that metastatic spread generates tissue-specific adaptations at the molecular level within cancer cells, which can be differentiated with Raman spectroscopy.
Winnard, P. T., Zhang, C., Vesuna, F., Kang, J. W., Garry, J., Dasari, R. R., … Raman, V. (2017). Organ-specific isogenic metastatic breast cancer cell lines exhibit distinct Raman spectral signatures and metabolomes. Oncotarget, 8(12). https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.14865