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xCELLigence in personalized cancer medicine

Dec 8, 2016

The use of patients' own cancer cells for in vitro selection of the most promising treatment is an attractive concept in personalized medicine. Human carcinoma cells from malignant pleural effusions (MPEs) are suited for this purpose since they have already adapted to the liquid environment in the patient and do not depend on a stromal cell compartment. Aim of this study was to develop a systematic approach for the in-vitro culture of MPEs to analyze the effect of chemotherapeutic as well as targeted drugs.

Methods: MPEs from patients with solid tumors were selected for this study. After morphological and molecular characterization, they were cultured in medium supplemented with patient-derived sterile-filtered effusion supernatant. Growth characteristics were monitored in real-time using the xCELLigence system. MPEs were treated with a targeted therapeutic (erlotinib) according to the mutational status or chemotherapeutics based on the recommendation of the oncologists. Results: We have established a robust system for the ex-vivo culture of MPEs and the application of drug tests in-vitro. The use of an antibody based magnetic cell separation system for epithelial cells before culture allowed treatment of effusions with only moderate tumor cell proportion. Experiments using drugs and drug-combinations revealed dose-dependent and specific growth inhibitory effects of targeted drugs.

Conclusions: We developed a new approach for the ex-vivo culture of MPEs and the application of drug tests in-vitro using real-time measuring of cell growth, which precisely reproduced the effect of clinically established treatments by standard chemotherapy and targeted drugs. This sets the stage for future studies testing agents against specific targets from genomic profiling of metastatic tumor cells and multiple drug-combinations in a personalized manner.

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Related technologies: Real-time, label free cell analysis

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Agilent provides xCELLigence impedance-based, label-free, real time cell analysis system and NovoCyte flow cytometers.

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