Conditionally reprogrammed cells (CRC) methodology does not allow the in vitro expansion of patient-derived primary and metastatic lung cancer cells

G. Sette, V. Salvati, I. Giordani, E. Pilozzi, D. Quacquarini, E. Duranti, F. De Nicola, M. Pallocca, M. Fanciulli, M. Falchi, R. Pallini, R. De Maria, A. Eramo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Availability of tumor and non-tumor patient-derived models would promote the development of more effective therapeutics for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Recently, conditionally reprogrammed cells (CRC) methodology demonstrated exceptional potential for the expansion of epithelial cells from patient tissues. However, the possibility to expand patient-derived lung cancer cells using CRC protocols is controversial. Here, we used CRC approach to expand cells from non-tumoral and tumor biopsies of patients with primary or metastatic NSCLC as well as pulmonary metastases of colorectal or breast cancers. CRC cultures were obtained from both tumor and non-malignant tissues with extraordinary high efficiency. Tumor cells were tracked in vitro through tumorigenicity assay, monitoring of tumor-specific genetic alterations and marker expression. Cultures were composed of EpCAM+ lung epithelial cells lacking tumorigenic potential. NSCLC biopsies-derived cultures rapidly lost patient-specific genetic mutations or tumor antigens. Similarly, pulmonary metastases of colon or breast cancer generated CRC cultures of lung epithelial cells. All CRC cultures examined displayed epithelial lung stem cell phenotype and function. In contrast, brain metastatic lung cancer biopsies failed to generate CRC cultures. In conclusion, patient-derived primary and metastatic lung cancer cells were negatively selected under CRC conditions, limiting the expansion to non-malignant lung epithelial stem cells from either tumor or non-tumor tissue sources. Thus, CRC approach cannot be applied for direct therapeutic testing of patient lung tumor cells, as the tumor-derived CRC cultures are composed of (non-tumoral) airway basal cells. © 2018 UICC
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-99
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • anaplastic lymphoma kinase
  • CD56 antigen
  • chromogranin A
  • cytokeratin 20
  • cytokeratin 5
  • cytokeratin 6
  • cytokeratin 7
  • cytokeratin AE1
  • cytokeratin AE3
  • epidermal growth factor receptor
  • epidermal growth factor receptor 2
  • estrogen receptor
  • homeobox protein Nkx 2.1
  • napsin A
  • progesterone receptor
  • protein p63
  • ROS1 protein
  • synaptophysin
  • transcription factor Cdx2
  • tumor marker
  • unclassified drug
  • tumor marker, adult
  • aged
  • animal cell
  • animal experiment
  • animal model
  • Article
  • assay
  • breast cancer
  • cancer cell culture
  • cell culture technique
  • cell expansion
  • clinical article
  • colorectal cancer
  • conditionally reprogrammed cell culture
  • controlled study
  • epithelial lung stem cell
  • female
  • gene expression
  • gene mutation
  • human
  • human cell
  • human tissue
  • in vitro study
  • lung alveolus epithelium cell
  • lung cancer cell line
  • lung metastasis
  • male
  • middle aged
  • mouse
  • non small cell lung cancer
  • nonhuman
  • priority journal
  • stem cell
  • tumor biopsy
  • tumorigenicity assay
  • animal
  • biopsy
  • breast tumor
  • cancer transplantation
  • cell reprogramming technique
  • colon tumor
  • cytology
  • epithelium cell
  • genetics
  • lung tumor
  • mutation
  • pathology
  • phenotype
  • procedures
  • secondary
  • tumor cell culture, Aged
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Biopsy
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung
  • Cellular Reprogramming Techniques
  • Colonic Neoplasms
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Phenotype
  • Stem Cells
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


Dive into the research topics of 'Conditionally reprogrammed cells (CRC) methodology does not allow the in vitro expansion of patient-derived primary and metastatic lung cancer cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this