Cancer Research

Cancer is a complex and heterogeneous disease caused by cells deficient in growth regulation. Genetic and epigenetic changes in one or a group of cells disrupt normal function and result in autonomous, uncontrolled cell growth and proliferation.

Imaging has become a key tool in the study of cancer biology. High-resolution imaging is indispensable for the study of genetic and cell signaling changes that underlie cancer, whereas live-cell imaging is crucial for a deeper understanding of function and disease mechanisms. Microscopy techniques are also essential for the study of spatial relationships between different types of tumor cells. They are also important for understanding the role of the immune system in battling cancerous cells. For the latter, researchers rely on multicolor imaging for a faster rate of discovery.

Simply get in touch!

Our experts on solutions for Cancer Research are happy to help you with their advice.

Challenges when using imaging to study cancer

Research into cancer therapeutics often requires the combination of fluorescence microscopy and innovative functional assays. With optimal temporal and spatial resolution, researchers are able to monitor dynamic events in living cells, such as cell migration and metastasis. These dynamic processes are at the core of cancer development.

Understanding these processes has been challenging due to the difficulty of visualizing tumor cell behavior in real time. Fast imaging over prolonged periods of time tends to come with a sacrifice: either decreased resolution or, more often, harm to your precious specimens. The challenge is finding the imaging technique and system that provides you with the best data with the highest resolution while keeping the cells alive so that you can follow the processes of interest.

Multiplexing to understand mechanisms of disease

Multicolor fluorescence microscopy, either confocal or widefield based, is a fundamental tool to understand the spatial context, co-localization, and proximity of multiple biomarkers when studying complex events, such as immunosuppression or angiogenesis. This aim can often be challenging, as there are limits to the number of fluorophores you can successfully distinguish with this “multiplexing” approach. Fortunately, there are innovative imaging systems and strategies to improve the separation of fluorophores and increase the number of fluorescent probes to that which is needed in your experiment.

Cancer Research Products

Filter by Area of Application
STELLARIS - Confocal Microscope Platform

STELLARIS

With the STELLARIS confocal platform, we have re-imagined confocal microscopy to get you closer to the truth.

THUNDER Imager EM Cryo CLEM

The THUNDER Imager EM Cryo CLEM enables precise identification of cellular structures and smooth, secure transfer of coordinates, images, and samples through your correlative workflow.

THUNDER Imager Tissue

The THUNDER Imager Tissue allows real-time fluorescence imaging of 3D tissue sections typically used in neuroscience and histology research.

Finding the right tools

Cancer is complex and requires a myriad of methods that include spatiotemporally resolved, live-specimen, and single-cell imaging. More insights into cellular processes concerning cancer will come likely from methods with the highest possible resolution and multiparametric image analysis. Approaches like fluorescence confocal microscopy enable you to study multiple targets within tissues or cellular structures.

Advanced imaging techniques, such as super-resolution or, more recently, lifetime imaging or lightsheet, help you to better understand the molecular interactions and regulatory mechanisms behind tumor initiation, progression, and response to treatment.

Laser microdissection or correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) enable the study of spatial receptor arrangements in membranes and genome organization in cell nuclei.

Related Articles

Read our latest articles about Cancer Research

The knowledge portal of Leica Microsystems offers scientific research and teaching material on the subjects of microscopy. The content is designed to support beginners, experienced practitioners and scientists alike in their everyday work and experiments.

More Articles

Live imaging pictures of GFP positive blood vessels growing in BFP positive tumor (left) and GFP positive macrophages invading the tumor via Tomato positive blood vessels (right).

Brain-Tumor-Microenvironment Study in Motion

In the present study, we show, in an in vivo longitudinal study, that the Slit-Robo pathway is critical for immunosuppressive myeloid cell accumulation in Glioblastoma. Genetic Slit2 depletion in…
Read article

Be Confident in your Results with Cell DIVE Validated Antibodies

The Cell DIVE System includes a carefully curated list of hundreds of commercially available antibodies validated to offer optimal specificity and sensitivity in multiplexed imaging. That validation…
Read article

Overcoming Multiplexed Imaging Roadblocks

Whether a single slide or a batch of slides processed on multiple Cell DIVE imagers, every step carried out by the Cell DIVE Acquisition Software eliminates distortions and artifacts and seamlessly…
Read article

DNA Replication in Cancer Cells

DNA synthesis can be impeded by collisions between the DNA replication machinery and co-transcriptional R-loops leading to a major source of genomic instability in cancer cells. In this paper we…
Read article

Optimizing THUNDER Platform for High-Content Slide Scanning

With rising demand for full-tissue imaging and the need for FL signal quantitation in diverse biological specimens, the limits on HC imaging technology are tested, while user trainability and…
Read article

Cancer Research Image Gallery

Fluorescence microscopy allows the study of changes occurring in tissue and cells during cancer development and progression. Techniques such as live cell imaging are critical to understand cancer…
Read article

Gaining Insights into Colorectal Cancer Metastasis

To follow cancer metastasis at the point of occurrence intravital multiphoton microscopy is the tool of choice. Intravital microscopy allows researchers to obtain image data from a living animal, even…
Read article

Regulators of Actin Cytoskeletal Regulation and Cell Migration in Human NK Cells

Dr. Mace will describe new advances in our understanding of the regulation of human NK cell actin cytoskeletal remodeling in cell migration and immune synapse formation derived from confocal and…
Read article

Improvement of Imaging Techniques to Understand Organelle Membrane Cell Dynamics

Understanding cell functions in normal and tumorous tissue is a key factor in advancing research of potential treatment strategies and understanding why some treatments might fail. Single-cell…
Read article

Visualize mechanical interactions of Cancer Cells

Cells interact with their environment. Not only on the base of chemical signals, but also by sensing and modifying mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix. The research goal of Dr. Bo Sun’s…
Read article

STED Nanoscopy at the forefront of cancer research

Alison Dun is the postdoctoral facility manager for the Edinburgh Super-Resolution Imaging Consortium (ESRIC), Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK. She has used a large range of microscope…
Read article

Five Questions Asked: Prof. Dr. Jacco van Rheenen speaks about the most important considerations when imaging deep into mouse tissue

When operating a confocal microscope, or when discussing features and parameters of such a device, we inescapably mention the pinhole and its diameter. This short introductory document is meant to…
Read article
Exemplary Specimen Overviews of a customer sample with many tumor areas being dissected

Workflows & Protocols: Laser Microdissection for Pathology and Cancer Research

Tumor development results from mutations in our DNA. For their deeper analysis, cancer researchers have to dissect the relevant tissue areas. Here we report the reason why laser microdissection is a…
Read article

Correlating Intravital Multi-Photon Microscopy to 3D Electron Microscopy of Invading Tumor Cells Using Anatomical Reference Points

Cancer research unsing multiphoton microscopy and 3D electron microscopy. Correlative microscopy combines the advantages of both light and electron microscopy to enable imaging of rare and transient…
Read article

Immunotherapy to Combat Cancer: "Sleeping Beauty" – DNA Plasmid-based Gene Transfer System to Modify T Cells

Fighting cancer is a major goal of present-day medicine. So far mainly surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy are utilized to extinguish cancerous tissue, or at least set limits to it. …
Read article

Video Interviews with Kees Jalink

Kees Jalink's group at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, explores signal transduction pathways and cell adhesion processes in cancer cells. In his eyes especially the new…
Read article

Stem Cell Biology in Cancer Research

The comprehension of stem cell biology and its molecular basis is now acquiring paramount importance in cancer research. The need to look at a single, possibly living, cell makes fluorescence…
Read article

Interested to know more?

Talk to our experts. We are happy to answer all your questions and concerns.

Contact Us

Do you prefer personal consulting?

  • Leica Microsystems Inc.
    1700 Leider Lane
    Buffalo Grove, IL 60089 United States
    Office Phone : +1 800 248 0123
    Service Phone : 1 800 248 0223
    Fax : +1 847-236-3009

You will find a more detailed list of local contacts here.