Autologous culture method improves retention of tumors' native properties

No current in vitro tumor model replicates a tumor’s in vivo microenvironment. A culturing technique that better preserves a tumor’s pathophysiological conditions is needed for some important clinical applications, including personalized drug-sensitivity/resistance assays. In this study, we utilized autologous serum or body fuid to build a 3D scaffold and grow a patient’s tumor. We named this technique “3D-ACM” (autologous culture method). Forty-five clinical samples from biopsies, surgically removed tumor tissues and malignant body fuids were cultured with 3D-ACM. Traditional 3D-FBS (fetal bovine serum) cultures were performed side-by-side for comparison. The results were that cells cultured in 3D-ACM rebuilt tissue-like structures, and retained their immuno-phenotypes and cytokine productions. In contrast, the 3D-FBS method promoted mesenchymal cell proliferation. In preliminary chemo drug-sensitivity assays, signifcantly higher mortality was always associated with FBS-cultured cells. Accordingly, 3D-ACM appears to more reliably preserve a tumor’s biological characteristics, which might improve the accuracy of drug-testing for personalized cancer treatment.
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