Malignant pleural effusions (MPEs) could represent an excellent source to culture a wide variety of cancer cells from different donors. In this study, we set up culture conditions for cancer cells deriving from MPEs of several patients affected by the most frequent form of lung cancer, namely the subset of non small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) classified as Lung Adenocarcinomas (AdenoCa) which account for approximately 40% of lung cancer cases. AdenoCa malignant pleural effusions gave rise to in vitro cultures both in adherent and/or in spheroid conditions in almost all cases analyzed. We characterized in greater detail two samples which showed the most efficient propagation in vitro. In these samples we also compared gene profiles of spheroid vs adherent cultures and identified a set of differentially expressed genes. Finally we achieved efficient tumor engraftment in recipient NOD/SCID mice, also upon inoculation of small number of cells, thus suggesting indirectly the presence of tumor initiating cells.