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In vitro three dimensional culture of hepatocellular carcinoma to measure prognosis and responsiveness to chemotherapeutic agents.
Hepatobiliary Surg Nutr. (2016)
  • Brad Shrum, The Univeristy of Western Ontario
  • Penny Costello
  • Warren McDonald
  • Christopher Howlett, The Univeristy of Western Ontario
  • Marisa Donnelly
  • Vivian C. McAlister
Understanding the prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) informs plans for care. Tumor morphology and molecular markers have been correlated with outcomes. Three-dimensional tissue culture (3DTC) allows for direct in vitro measurement of a tumor's ability to grow and metastasize. The impact of chemotherapeutic agents, alone or in combinations, may also be measured.
All patients with a presumed diagnosis of HCC were eligible for this study including those undergoing resection, chemoembolization and transplantation. Concomitant diseases and outcomes were recorded. One mm(3) HCC specimens were grown in multiwell plates containing gel media, without and with chemotherapeutic agents.
Tumors were sampled from 17 patients. Only 13 had HCC, all of whom had liver transplantation. Of the confirmed HCC patients, 6 (46%) are alive and disease free 82 months following transplantation, 1 (7%) is alive with recurrence of disease and 6 (46%) died, with a mean survival of 12 months post liver transplant. Ten of thirteen 3DTC samples grew, having an average migration distance of 108.3µm in the first 24 hours. Two of three patients who had prior chemoembolization had successful 3DTC. Migration distances (µm) were 188.8±104.3, 104.5±111.7 and 39.6±32.4 for tumors categorized as high, intermediate and low grade, respectively. Tumor migration was inhibited by irinotecan, paclitaxel and docetaxel (-68%±7%, -61%±19% and -60%±21%, respectively) whereas the effect was variable with 5 fluorouracil (5FU) and doxorubicin (-12%±51% and 9%±76%, respectively).
It is feasible to grow tissue from HCC in 3DTC to study the tumor's capacity to grow and migrate and its responsiveness to commonly used chemotherapeutic protocols.
  • Cancer; chemotherapy; hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); survival; three-dimensional; tissue culture; transplant
Publication Date
June, 2016
Citation Information
Brad Shrum, Penny Costello, Warren McDonald, Christopher Howlett, et al.. "In vitro three dimensional culture of hepatocellular carcinoma to measure prognosis and responsiveness to chemotherapeutic agents." Hepatobiliary Surg Nutr. Vol. 5 Iss. 3 (2016) p. 204 - 208
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