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Proceedings Paper

Miniaturizing 3D assay for high-throughput drug and genetic screens for small patient-derived tumor samples (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Asaf Rotem; Levi Garraway; Mei-Ju Su; Anindita Basu; Aviv Regev; Kevin Struhl

Paper Abstract

Three-dimensional growth conditions reflect the natural environment of cancer cells and are crucial to be performed at drug screens. We developed a 3D assay for cellular transformation that involves growth in low attachment (GILA) conditions and is strongly correlated with the 50-year old benchmark assay-soft agar. Using GILA, we performed high-throughput screens for drugs and genes that selectively inhibit or increase transformation, but not proliferation. This phenotypic approach is complementary to our genetic approach that utilizes single-cell RNA-sequencing of a patient sample to identify putative oncogenes that confer sensitivity to drugs designed to specifically inhibit the identified oncoprotein. Currently, we are dealing with a big challenge in our field- the limited number of cells that might be extracted from a biopsy. Small patient-derived samples are hard to test in the traditional multiwell plate and it will be helpful to minimize the culture area and the experimental system. We managed to design a suitable microfluidic device for limited number of cells and perform the assay using image analysis. We aim to test drugs on tumor cells, outside of the patient body- and recommend on the ideal treatment that is tailored to the individual. This device will help to minimize biopsy-sampling volumes and minimize interventions in the patient’s tumor.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 April 2017
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 10046, Visualizing and Quantifying Drug Distribution in Tissue, 100460H (19 April 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2256299
Show Author Affiliations
Asaf Rotem, Dana Farber Cancer Institute (United States)
Levi Garraway, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Ctr. (United States)
Mei-Ju Su, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Ctr. (United States)
Anindita Basu, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (United States)
Aviv Regev, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (United States)
Kevin Struhl, Harvard Medical School (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10046:
Visualizing and Quantifying Drug Distribution in Tissue
Kin Foong Chan; Conor L. Evans, Editor(s)

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