The high attrition rate of potential anti-cancer drugs entering clinical trials indicates the need for more predictive pre-clinical model systems. Standard compound screening is high-throughput and relatively inexpensive, but conducted with non-representative cells in a non-physiological environment. Three-dimensional (3D) culture systems provide cells a more physiological microenvironment including relevant extracellular matrix (ECM) cues and cell-cell interactions. Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) culture preserves tumor heterogeneity while mitigating harsh selective pressures induced by traditional 2D culture methods. However, in vivo mouse models are slow and expensive, often with low “take” rates that limit the numbers of drugs and drug combinations that can be tested. Within the present study, we established the direct culture of breast cancer PDX cells in a hyaluronan-based hydrogel matrix that is amenable to automated dispensing. Washington University Human in Mouse (WHIM) breast cancer PDX tumors were dissociated and PDX cell were encapsulated in 3D hydrogels for in vitro culture. In vitro cultured PDX cells showed high viability over 7 days, as assessed by standard live/dead assay. Cell morphology and marker retention were also examined using immunofluorescence staining for markers including ER, EpCAM, and vimentin, and were found to be subtype-consistent. Ongoing studies seek to expand the PDX tumors in hydrogel matrices such that they may be useful for a variety of applications including drug screening, proteome and kinome activation analysis, and other applications that will enable the development of personalized therapies suited to individual breast cancer patients presenting with various disease subtypes.
Citation Format: Lindsey K. Sablatura, MeghaShyam Kavuri, Priya Richards, Daniel A. Harrington, Matthew J. Ellis, Mary C. Farach-Carson. Ex vivo culture of breast cancer patient-derived xenografts in modified 3-D hyaluronan hydrogels. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR Special Conference on Advances in Breast Cancer Research; Oct 17-20, 2015; Bellevue, WA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Mol Cancer Res 2016;14(2_Suppl):Abstract nr B30.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.