Patient derived models of brain tumorigenesis for personalized medicine

Workflow of fresh patient derived sample processing for research

Fresh Patient Sample Pick-Up From Neurosurgery OR

Malignancies of the central nervous system are particularly diverse with over 200 diverse histological diagnoses.  Precision cancer medicine hinges on the availability of fresh human biospecimens for each individual type of brain tumor. Fresh tissues from surgeries and autopsies are critical materials that are used to study genetic and epigenetic underpinnings of disease and to generate in vitro and in vivo models of human diseases and these models are tools that are urgently needed for conducting research and preclinical studies.

These studies help us to predict the dependencies of a given tumor from its molecular makeup. Despite successes in multiple common cancers, such prediction remains challenging for the majority of brain tumors, which are generally rare and difficult-to-treat tumors, for which laboratory model systems in which to discover and/or validate therapeutic hypotheses are generally lacking. 

The Petritsch lab has over 10 years of experience in generating in vitro and in vivo models of brain tumors, including for rare pediatric glioma. Here, at Stanford, we continue to collect fresh tissue from patient’s surgeries with the purpose to generate and characterize patient derived models of brain tumors and metastases. Our main goal is to generate patient derived models of all surgically treated brain tumors and metastases. The novel organoid, spheroid, and cell line and orthotopic models created as part of this effort are being made publicly available to the scientific community. Our second goal is to generate a comprehensive and searchable biobanking and inventory system to support collaborative brain tumor research at Stanford and nation-wide. 

We developed a workflow to seamlessly source and preserve fresh tissue from the OR, conduct quality control using genomic analyses prior to model creation, and screening for the tumor immune landscape. 

3D Neurospheroid Cultures Derived From Primary Patient-Derived Brain Tumor Tissue by the Petritsch Team