Enrichment and characterization of the tumor immune and non-immune microenvironments in established subcutaneous murine tumors

Jared M. Newton, Aurelie Hanoteau, Andrew G. Sikora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) has recently been recognized as a critical mediator of treatment response in solid tumors, especially for immunotherapies. Recent clinical advances in immunotherapy highlight the need for reproducible methods to accurately and thoroughly characterize the tumor and its associated immune infiltrate. Tumor enzymatic digestion and flow cytometric analysis allow broad characterization of numerous immune cell subsets and phenotypes; however, depth of analysis is often limited by fluorophore restrictions on panel design and the need to acquire large tumor samples to observe rare immune populations of interest. Thus, we have developed an effective and high throughput method for separating and enriching the tumor immune infiltrate from the non-immune tumor components. The described tumor digestion and centrifugal density-based separation technique allows separate characterization of tumor and tumor immune infiltrate fractions and preserves cellular viability, and thus, provides a broad characterization of the tumor immunologic state. This method was used to characterize the extensive spatial immune heterogeneity in solid tumors, which further demonstrates the need for consistent whole tumor immunologic profiling techniques. Overall, this method provides an effective and adaptable technique for the immunologic characterization of subcutaneous solid murine tumors; as such, this tool can be used to better characterize the tumoral immunologic features and in the preclinical evaluation of novel immunotherapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere57685
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number136
StatePublished - 7 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Cancer Research
  • Immune enrichment
  • Issue 136
  • Solid tumors
  • Tumor digestion
  • Tumor immune microenvironment
  • Tumor immune profiling
  • Tumor infiltrating leukocytes isolation


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