Background chemotherapy is part of most breast cancer (BC) treatment schedules. However, a substantial fraction of BC tumors does not respond to the treatment. Unfortunately, no standard biomarkers exist for response prediction. Therefore, we aim to develop ex vivo sensitivity assays for two types of commonly used cytostatics (i.e., platinum derivates and taxanes) on organotypic BC tissue slices. Methods: Ex vivo cisplatin sensitivity assays were established using organotypic tissue slices derived from the surgical resection material of 13 primary BCs and 20 fresh histological biopsies obtained from various metastatic sites. Furthermore, tissue slices of 10 primary BCs were used to establish a docetaxel ex vivo sensitivity assay. Results: Cisplatin sensitivity was assessed by tissue morphology, proliferation and apoptosis, while the relative increase in the mitotic index was discriminative for docetaxel sensitivity. Based on these read-outs, a scoring system was proposed to discriminate sensitive from resistant tumors for each cytostatic. We successful completed the cisplatin sensitivity assay on 12/16 (75%) biopsies as well. Conclusions: We developed an ex vivo cisplatin and docetaxel assay on BC slices. We also adapted the assay for biopsy-sized specimens as the next step towards the correlation of ex vivo test results and in vivo responses.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was funded by the Dutch Cancer Society (Alpe d’Huzes grant number EMCR 2014-7048 and grant number EMCR 2008-4045). This work is part of the Oncode Institute, which is partly financed by the Dutch Cancer Society and funded by the gravitation program CancerGenomiCs.nl from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).
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