Cancer / Tumor Biology

Hypoxia is a well known aspect of cancer biology. The Warburg Effect describes how tumor cells use metabolic pathways adapted to the low oxygen conditions (0-4% O2) in poorly vascularized, highly competitive tumor environments. Pathophysiologic hypoxia has been demonstrated as a contributing factor in carcinogenesis, cell cycle, metabolism, angiogenesis, metastatic progression, induction of stem-like traits, immune evasion, and therapeutic resistance.

Hypoxia’s role in cancer cell phenotype has led researchers to simulate the hypoxic cancer microenvironment in cell-based experiments to gain better understanding of tumors. Physiologically relevant oxygen environments can improve predictive capacity of cell-based assays. Inserting hypoxia chambers into existing CO2 incubators provides cancer scientists an economical method for providing low oxygen (hypoxic) cell cultures.

Brief interruptions of hypoxia during handling in open hoods can alter the function of cells. Hypoxia workstations (or glove boxes) maintain constant control of O2 throughout all steps of cell incubation, cell manipulation, and cell analysis.