Cancer Sample Biobanking at the Next Level: Combining Tissue With Living Cell Repositories to Promote Precision Medicine.Front Cell Dev Biol 2019; 7:246FC
Biorespositories of formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) or fresh frozen human tissues from malignant diseases generated as integral part of the diagnostic workup in many pathology departments have been pivotal resources for translational cancer studies. However, such tissue biobanks have traditionally contained only non-viable specimens and thus cannot enable functional assays for the discovery and validation of therapeutic targets or the assessment of drug responses and resistance to treatment. To overcome these limitations, we have developed a next-generation comprehensive biobanking platform that includes the generation of patient-derived in vitro cell models from colorectal, pancreatic and kidney cancers among others. As such patient-derived cell (PDC) models retain important features of the original human tumors, they have emerged as relevant tools for more dynamic clinical and experimental analyses of cancer. Here, we describe details of the complex processes of acquisition and processing of patient-derived samples, propagation, annotation, characterization and distribution of resulting cell models and emphasize the requirements of quality assurance, organizational considerations and investment into resources. Taken together, we show how clinical tissue collections can be taken to the next level thus promising major new opportunities for understanding and treating cancer in the context of precision medicine.