Introduction: A key step in cancer progression is tumor irrigation. The process of angiogenesis can be complemented in sub-sets of highly aggressive cancers by the process of vasculogenic mimicry, which is the formation of tubular structures by tumor cells. Herein, we sought to establish an in vitro assay of vasculogenic mimicry and determine the percentage of ovarian and gastrointestinal primary cultures capable of undergoing this process.

Materials & Methods: Gastric cancer cell lines, AGS and Hs746T, and the ovarian cancer cell lines SKOV-3 and HEY were used in conjunction with gastrointestinal and ovarian primary cultured cancer cells extracted from peritoneal fluid. Cells were seeded on matrigel and monitored for a week. Hollow channels formation was evaluated by fluorescent dye microinyection, periodic acid Schiff staining, confocal microscopy and X-Ray microtomography (Micro-CT).

Results: SKOV-3, HEY and AGS cell lines underwent the process of vasculogenic mimicry. Both confocal microscopy and Micro-CT reconstruction were able to show the presence of a lumen of the structures in 3D. In 22 primary cancer cultures (Ovarian, Colon and Gastric) only 38% could underwent vasculogenic mimicry.

Discussion: We have standardized an in vitro assay to assay and quantify vasculogenic mimicry. Regardless of origin, only a low percentage of cultures have the ability to undergo vasculogenic mimicry. An understanding of this process could shed light on new therapies for this sub-set of highly aggressive cancers.

Funding: FONDECYT 1120292, 3150028 & 1140970. CORFO L2 13IDL2-18608, BMRC 13CTI 21526-P6, IMII P09/016-F, CONICYT-FONDAP #1513001

Citation Format: Andres Valdivia, Dusan Racordon, Raul Aravena, Gabriel Mingo, Alejandra Sandoval, Maria Loreto Bravo, Mauricio A. Cuello, Sumie Kato, Rafaela Erices, Carolina Ramirez, Pamela Gonzalez, Beatriz Sanchez, Alejandro H. Corvalan, Gareth I. Owen. Establishment of an in vitro model for the study of vasculogenic mimicry in ovarian and gastrointestinal cancer cells [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017; 2017 Apr 1-5; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2017;77(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 789. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2017-789