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Mack, Brigitte; Eggert, Carola; Eder, Katharina; Imrich, Sannia; Baumeister, Philipp; Harréus, Ulrich; Gires, Olivier (2013): Rapid and non-enzymatic in vitro retrieval of tumour cells from surgical specimens.
In: PloS one 8(1), e55540
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Abstract

The study of tumourigenesis commonly involves the use of established cell lines or single cell suspensions of primary tumours. Standard methods for the generation of short-term tumour cell cultures include the disintegration of tissue based on enzymatic and mechanical stress. Here, we describe a simple and rapid method for the preparation of single cells from primary carcinomas, which is independent of enzymatic treatment and feeder cells. Tumour biopsies are processed to 1 mm(3) cubes termed explants, which are cultured 1-3 days on agarose-coated well plates in specified medium. Through incisions generated in the explants, single cells are retrieved and collected from the culture supernatant and can be used for further analysis including in vitro and in vivo studies. Collected cells retain tumour-forming capacity in xenotransplantation assays, mimic the phenotype of the primary tumour, and facilitate the generation of cell lines.