Establishment and Characterization of New Preclinical Cell Models

Image of a histology staining of patient tissue

Histology staining of patient tissue showing a spindle/giant cell subtype of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma and a live image of its derived cell line

Tumor tissues that are surgically removed can be used for much more than just diagnosis and drug screening. These samples can be processed into in vitro models for the creation of cell lines that mimic the properties of the original tumor tissue.

Once created, these immortalized cancer cell lines can serve as the foundation for new drug treatments, can help identify novel genes in cancer and can help contribute to a better understanding of certain subtypes of cancer.

The Cancer Biology and Translational Oncogenomics Laboratory of Dr. Copland has access to hundreds of patient tumor samples from which it is trying to establish cell lines. The cell lines created in the lab will adhere to a higher standard of validity, as the lab recently discovered that many established cell lines are actually cross-contaminated by another more aggressive cell line.

Because of this discovery, the cell models that the Cancer Biology and Translational Oncogenomics Lab produces can be directly compared and DNA-fingerprinted to the original patient tissue. In collaboration with clinicians around the country, the lab can create validated cell models that will pave the way for better cancer treatment in the future.