Ex vivo culture of circulating breast tumor cells for individualized testing of drug susceptibility

Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 07/2014; 345(6193). DOI: 10.1126/science.1253533

ABSTRACT Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are present at low concentrations in the peripheral blood of patients with solid tumors. It has been proposed that the isolation, ex vivo culture, and characterization of CTCs may provide an opportunity to noninvasively monitor the changing patterns of drug susceptibility in individual patients as their tumors acquire new mutations. In a proof-of-concept study, we established CTC cultures from six patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Three of five CTC lines tested were tumorigenic in mice. Genome sequencing of the CTC lines revealed preexisting mutations in the PIK3CA gene and newly acquired mutations in the estrogen receptor gene (ESR1), PIK3CA gene, and fibroblast growth factor receptor gene (FGFR2), among others. Drug sensitivity testing of CTC lines with multiple mutations revealed potential new therapeutic targets. With optimization of CTC culture conditions, this strategy may help identify the best therapies for individual cancer patients over the course of their disease.

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    ABSTRACT: Co-culture of human primary epithelial cells with irradiated 3T3 fibroblast feeder cells (J2 cells) and the Rho kinase inhibitor Y-27632 (Y) allows for the unrestricted growth of cells of epithelial origin by the process termed conditional reprogramming. To better understand the nature of the signaling processes associated with conditionally reprogrammed cells, the effect of the two critical components of the co-culture conditions, J2 cells and Y, on the growth of human foreskin keratinocytes (HFKs) was evaluated by gene expression profiling, reverse-phase protein arrays and siRNA screening. J2 cells and Y acted cooperatively to down-regulate differentiation, and upregulate proliferation and cell adhesion, including increased pT308Akt and pERK, and reduced TGF-β pathway signaling. These findings establish a mechanistic basis for the unlimited growth potential of human epithelial cells that will be invaluable to assess the effect of genetic changes in pathologic tissues and their response to therapeutic agents.
    PLoS ONE 02/2015; 10(2):e0116755. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0116755 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Cancer metastasis caused by circulating tumor cells (CTCs) accounts for 90% cancer-related death worldwide. Blocking the circulation of CTCs in bloodstream and their hetero-adhesion to vascular endothelia of the distant metastatic organs may prevent cancer metastasis. Nanomaterial-based intervention with adhesion between CTCs and endothelia has not been reported. Driven by the novel idea that multivalent conjugation of EpCAM and Slex antibodies to dendrimer surface may enhance the capacity and specificity of the nanomaterial conjugates for capturing and down-regulating colorectal CTCs, we conjugated the dendrimer nanomaterial with the EpCAM and Slex antibodies, and examined the capacity of the dual antibody-coated nanomaterial for their roles in interrupting CTCs-related cancer metastasis.ResultsThe antibody-coated nanomaterial was synthesized and characterized. The conjugates specifically bound and captured colon cancer cells SW620. The conjugate inhibited the cells¿ viability and their adhesion to fibronectin (Fn)-coated substrate or human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in a concentration-dependent manner. In comparison with SW480 and LoVo cell lines, the activity and adhesion of SW620 to Fn-coated substrate and HUVECs were more specifically inhibited by the dual antibody conjugate because of the higher levels of EpCAM and Slex on SW620 cell surface. The hetero-adhesion between SW620 and Fn-coated substrate, or HUVECs was inhibited by about 60-70%. The dual conjugate showed the inhibition capacity more significant than its corresponding single antibody conjugates.Conclusions The present study provides the new evidence that coating nanomaterials with more than one antibody against CTCs may effectively interfere with the interaction between SW620 and HUVECs.


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Jul 23, 2014