Cell Rep 2017 Dec;21(11):3298-3309
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA 02129, USA. Electronic address:
Personalized cancer therapy is based on a patient's tumor lineage, histopathology, expression analyses, and/or tumor DNA or RNA analysis. Here, we aim to develop an in vitro functional assay of a patient's living cancer cells that could complement these approaches. We present methods for developing cell cultures from tumor biopsies and identify the types of samples and culture conditions associated with higher efficiency of model establishment. Toward the application of patient-derived cell cultures for personalized care, we established an immunofluorescence-based functional assay that quantifies cancer cell responses to targeted therapy in mixed cell cultures. Assaying patient-derived lung cancer cultures with this method showed promise in modeling patient response for diagnostic use. This platform should allow for the development of co-clinical trial studies to prospectively test the value of drug profiling on tumor-biopsy-derived cultures to direct patient care.