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, 172 (1-2), 373-386.e10

A Living Biobank of Breast Cancer Organoids Captures Disease Heterogeneity


A Living Biobank of Breast Cancer Organoids Captures Disease Heterogeneity

Norman Sachs et al. Cell.


Breast cancer (BC) comprises multiple distinct subtypes that differ genetically, pathologically, and clinically. Here, we describe a robust protocol for long-term culturing of human mammary epithelial organoids. Using this protocol, >100 primary and metastatic BC organoid lines were generated, broadly recapitulating the diversity of the disease. BC organoid morphologies typically matched the histopathology, hormone receptor status, and HER2 status of the original tumor. DNA copy number variations as well as sequence changes were consistent within tumor-organoid pairs and largely retained even after extended passaging. BC organoids furthermore populated all major gene-expression-based classification groups and allowed in vitro drug screens that were consistent with in vivo xeno-transplantations and patient response. This study describes a representative collection of well-characterized BC organoids available for cancer research and drug development, as well as a strategy to assess in vitro drug response in a personalized fashion.

Keywords: basal; biobank; breast cancer; luminal; organoids; precision medicine; triple negative.

Comment in

  • Organoid Models of Cancer Explode With Possibilities
    SK Muthuswamy. Cell Stem Cell 22 (3), 290-291. PMID 29499146.
    Organoids have tremendous promise for modeling human cancers and revealing new biological insights. Sachs et al. (2018), Seino et al. (2018) (in this issue of Cell Stem C …

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