Solutions for Pre-metastasis Studies of TME

Relying on the technology platform of the tumor microenvironment center, Alfa Cytology provides global collaborators with solutions and services to study the characteristics and roles of TME before tumor metastasis, helping researchers successfully achieve their research goals.


Tumor metastasis is the leading cause of cancer-related death. This suggests that it is particularly important to identify the key molecular and cellular components in each step of tumor metastasis and to develop strategies to prevent and control tumor metastasis. The entry of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) into secondary or distant organs is a critical step in metastasis, and the local microenvironment encountered by CTCs has a critical impact on this step. It determines whether "colonization" of tumor cells can occur. There is growing evidence that primary tumors can promote metastasis by inducing the formation of a supportive microenvironment (called the pre-metastatic niche) at secondary organ sites. In recent years, the role and significance of the pre-metastatic microenvironment has attracted increasing attention. In the article "Characteristics and Significance of the Pre-metastatic Niche", Liu Yang and Xuetao Cao reviewed the formation mechanism, composition characteristics of the pre-metastatic microenvironment and the process of promoting tumor metastasis.


The characteristics of the pre-metastatic microenvironment determine whether circulating tumor cells can grow, survive, or become dormant when they reach the metastatic site. A number of cellular and molecular components have been shown to be involved in the formation of the pre-metastatic microenvironment, giving it a pro-metastatic character. However, many questions regarding the formation, function, dynamics, and importance of the pre-metastatic microenvironment remain unresolved: (1) How to apply basic research to clinical practice is another challenge. Some important issues need to be addressed, including: diagnostic and therapeutic strategies? (2) Do all primary tumors produce a pre-metastatic microenvironment, or only in the presence of inflammation or hypoxia? (3) How important are host systemic and local immunosuppression and inflammation for the formation of the pre-metastatic microenvironment and its pro-metastatic function? (4) What is the causal relationship between the formation of the primary tumor microenvironment and the pre-metastatic microenvironment in the initiation of metastasis? (5) Does the formation of pre-metastatic microenvironment still occur when the primary tumor is surgically removed or the secreted factors of tumor origin are neutralized? (6) How can we effectively target the pre-metastatic microenvironment to stop metastasis?

Alfa Cytology has established an innovative tumor microenvironment center technology platform and is developing several technologies that help global collaborators explore the role and significance of the pre-metastatic microenvironment, elucidate the mechanisms of tumor metastasis, and provide a new basis for designing more effective cancer diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

Key technologies

Tumor model construction is a prerequisite for experimental studies to be conducted. A variety of methods are available as indicators to evaluate the success of model construction. Animal tumor models are used to study tumor pathogenesis, progression and staging, pathological factors, metastatic potential, tumor load level, hormonal responsiveness and immunosuppression.

Based on the pre-metastatic microenvironment model, luciferase and green fluorescent protein (GFP) can be used as a cellular marker for gene expression detection and cell tracking. Bioluminescence imaging is a highly sensitive, high-throughput technique that enables visualization of disease processes in experimental animals, with the detected light signal serving as a quantitative indicator of tumor load. The use of fluorescence as a method to detect and quantify metastasis allows for a more visual analysis of how candidate genes affect the metastasis and colonization of tumor cells, providing independent data and improving the credibility of the results.

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a rapidly developing diagnostic technique in recent years and is now used to assess metabolic pathways during tumor development and metastasis, based on the principle that radiolabeled positron emission tomography substrates are tracked at physiological concentrations, allowing for tumor model and tumor heterogeneity non-invasive imaging. In addition, qualitative analysis of target genes and specific biomarkers associated with tumor metastasis can also be used as evaluation indicators for model building, usually involving various methods such as immunohistochemistry, protein blot analysis, and real-time quantitative PCR.

TME before Tumor Metastasis

Alfa Cytology is committed to supporting scientists in making breakthrough scientific discoveries and developing new applications to accelerate new drug discovery and scientific diagnosis and treatment. Our high-performance scientific instruments and high-value solutions enable scientists to explore the mysteries of life at the tumor microenvironment level. Please tell us your project requirements, and we will provide you with a full service from solution to report. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


  1. Liu, Yang, and Xue tao Cao. "Characteristics and significance of the pre-metastatic niche." Cancer cell 30.5 (2016): 668-681.

All of our services and products are intended for preclinical research use only and cannot be used to diagnose, treat or manage patients.


Alfa Cytology is a service provider specializing in tumor microenvironment research.

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