EACR Image of the Month winner: Prof. John F Marshall

Zoe Leech Posted in Images 24 October 2016

Congratulations to our Prof. John F. Marshall, winner of the European Association for Cancer Research's new Image of the Month competition this October!

The EACR Image of the Month highlights outstanding scientific images from EACR members. We are pleased to announce the first Image of the Month winner: our congratulations go to John Marshall / Anne Weston for sending this powerful image of two human squamous carcinoma cells invading into a collagen rich gel.


This is two human squamous carcinoma cells invading into a collagen rich gel. After plating the tumour cells onto the gel, which contained human fibroblasts, the gel was left overnight at 37 C and fed with growth media placed underneath the gel. The gel was then processed for cryo-scanning electron microscopy. The image is a cross-section of the two cells where the gel was snapped in half. You can see that overnight the cells have invaded down through the collagen fibres so that only their surfaces are at the surface of the gel. Careful observation will note that the upper collagen fibres are thicker and smother whereas many of those at the invasive front look ‘gritty’. We believe from this and other data that the tumour cells have secreted enzymes to degrade the collagen.

Sample processing and EM: Ms Anne Weston, Cancer Research UK London Institute, UK

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