Dr Donna Hansel Discusses Research on Human Bladder Cancer Cells

Donna Hansel, MD, PhD, of University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, explains her use of human bladder cancer cells in her research.

Donna Hansel, MD, PhD, of University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, explains her use of human bladder cancer cells in her research.

Transcript

A unique aspect of your lab is the use of human bladder specimens. Can you explain how you use them?

As a pathologist, we are often involved in dissecting specimens as they come out of the operating room. A lot of what we see when we open the bladder and also as we see it under the microscope really helps me at least formulate ideas about what’s happening with invasion and the spread of bladder cancer cells. What we try to do, especially because my lab studies invasion, is to say, "okay, well, we have all these wonderful in vitro techniques that we can use in the laboratory, but is there a way to use ex vivo techniques? Using actual human bladder cancer cells and using the background bladder matrix that the cells invade into?" Having done that, we’ve developed ex-plant models, primary culture models, things where we can take the cells and take the matrix that they invade into and modulate both of those to better understand how the interaction of cancer cells with the environment permits cancer growth.