• flow cytometry;
  • phospho-Stat1;
  • lung cancer;
  • malignant pleural effusion


Single cell phospho-specific flow cytometry (SCPFC) enables the investigation of signaling network interactions and the categorization of disease outcome. While this method has been successfully used to study hematologic disorders, its application on solid tumors has not been examined. This study aimed to demonstrate the ability of SCPFC to detect dynamic changes of Tyrosine phospho-Stat1 (pStat1) in solid tumor models and in human tumor samples. In the human lung cancer cell line PC14PE6/AS2, the fluorescence intensity changes of pStat1 after IFN-γ stimulation were compatible to results obtained by Western blot analysis. In metastatic animal models, cancer cells from subcutaneous tumors, malignant ascites, and peritoneal tumors responded to IFN-γ. The pStat1 was activated in these cells after IFN-γ stimulation, with a 1.5- to 2.5-fold increase in fluorescence intensity compared to the unstimulated control. To examine the potential clinical application of SCPFC, cancer cells were collected from malignant pleural effusions (MPEs) of lung cancer patients to observe the activation of pStat1 after IFN-γ stimulation. Cell apoptosis after cisplatin treatment was evaluated by Annexin V staining, which showed that MPE cancer cells with higher pStat1 changes after IFN-γ stimulation were more resistant to cisplatin. In conclusion, there is a preliminary application of SCPFC to solid tumors and links to drug sensitivity are promising. © 2010 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry