The treatment of cancer faces a serious challenge as cancer cells within patients are heterogeneous and frequently resistant to therapeutic drugs. Here, we introduce a technology enabling the assessment of single cancer cells exposed to different drugs. PCa cells were individually sorted in self-seeding microwells, cultured for 24 h, and then exposed to several drugs to induce (R1881) or inhibit (Enzalutamide/Abiraterone) the secretion of a protein (PSA). Cell viability and PSA secretion of each individual prostate cell were monitored over a 3-day period. The PSA protein secreted by each cell was captured on a PVDF membrane through a pore in the bottom of each well. The basal PSA secretion was found to be 6.1 ± 4.5 and 3.7 ± 1.9 pg/cell/day for LNCaP and VCaP, respectively. After exposure to R1881, the PSA secretion increased by ~90% on average and was not altered for ~10% of the cells. PSA production decreased in the majority of cells after exposure to enzalutamide and abiraterone.
- Drug screening
- Microwell arrays
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA)
- Protein secretion
- Single cancer cells