Ascites-derived pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma primary cell cultures as a platform for personalised medicine

T. Golan, D. Atias, I. Barshack, C. Avivi, R. S. Goldstein, R. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Challenges in developing drugs for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) include obtaining metastatic cancer tissue for research and validating biomarkers predicative for personalised therapeutic decisions. We have recently developed a novel therapeutic model for PDAC to address these challenges based on the isolation of viable PDAC cells derived from ascites fluid. Methods: Ascites fluid was obtained from PDAC patients undergoing palliative paracentesis. Ascites-derived PDAC primary cells were isolated, cultured and characterised in ovo and in vitro. Results: We successfully established ascites-derived primary cell cultures within 2-7 days from 92% (93 out of 101) of the ascites fluid samples obtained (from 36 different patients). Homogeneous epithelial PDAC-enriched cell cultures were identified and characterised. We observed a wide range in doubling times and migration properties among the different patient-derived cell cultures. The diverse nature of each individual patient's cell cultures was further demonstrated by differences in therapeutic susceptibility and resistance. The tumorigenicity and invasiveness of the cells were demonstrated in vivo using chicken chorioallantoic membrane grafts. Conclusions: We have developed a unique ascites-derived PDAC primary cell culture model. This model has the potential to study signalling pathways in PDAC progression and to evaluate targeted therapies for the individual patient expeditiously, thereby supporting personalised treatment decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2269-2276
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number9
StatePublished - 29 Apr 2014


  • ascites fluid
  • chemotherapeutic sensitivity
  • pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  • personalized medicine
  • primary cell cultures


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