Honors Theses


Loan Bui, Ph.D.



Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


Breast cancer has been the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women. It is estimated that 15- 25% of breast cancer cases are classified as multifocal (MF) or multicentric (MC). MF and MC breast cancers, compared with unifocal breast cancers, tend to be more aggressive and are associated with lower survival rates, higher recurrence, and lymph node metastasis. This project studied the interactive behaviors between multiple breast cancer tumors using an in vitro model combined of three-dimensional breast cancer spheroids and microfluidics technology. We determined that the MF/MC breast cancer spheroids moved across their extracellular matrix, shortening the distance between each other by 871.1±602.7 um and 765.846±547.7 um, for 3 and 2 MF/MC breast cancer spheroids respectively, over 72 hours. There was no significant change in individual breast cancer spheroid area over 72 hours, but in the multiple setup spheroids tended to merge into a larger one. Additionally, there was no significant difference in the area of cells sprouting away from the spheroid in MF/MC breast cancer spheroids and unifocal (single) breast cancer spheroids. Initial observations depict nonuniform collagen extracellular matrix expression after 72 hours in the MF/MC model. This study helps broaden our understanding of the characteristics and invasive mechanisms of MF/MC breast cancer tumors, allowing us to better predict patient prognosis and suggest novel targets for breast cancer treatments in subsequent studies.

Permission Statement

This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes.


Undergraduate research

Embargoed until Tuesday, June 22, 2123