Solid Tumor Research

Most solid tumor research involves working with clinical tumor tissues, including FFPE blocks, frozen samples, whole blood, serum, plasma, and buffy coat samples.

Solid tumors are masses of cancer cells enmeshed with the tissue of origin. Breast cancer is the most prevalent type of diagnosed cancer, followed by lung and prostate cancer, which are all solid tumors  (Figure 1) .

Breakdown of new cancer cases by type

Figure 1. Cancers and the estimated percentage of new cases. 
Adapted from American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2018.

The solid tumor biology paradigm differs from hematological cancers like leukemia.  Unlike leukemias, which are trapped in a premature differentiation state and travel through the circulation, solid tumor cells originate and proliferate at a specific site of origin.  These solid masses consist of cancer cells with heterogeneous proliferation rates, and residing tissue and immune cells (Figure 2). This creates multi-dimensional structures with a complex microenvironment and unique biochemical and physiological properties.

Differential localization of cells within a solid tumor

Figure 2: Differential localization of cells within a solid tumor.

Solid cancers present some formidable barriers to therapies like adoptive cell transfer. Strategies to discover therapies must take into account solid tumor geometry, microenvironment, and immune cell regulation, including suppression of T-cell function and inhibition of T-cell localization.

Products and technologies

Thermo Fisher Scientific offers a number of products and technologies in the solid tumor space. Regardless of sample type—FFPE to whole blood—we offer solutions that save time and effort, starting with our isolation portfolio at the sample prep stage all the way to sequencing solutions. Learn more about our core products for solid tumor research below.