Establishment and Morphological Characterization of Patient-Derived Organoids from Breast Cancer

S. Mazzucchelli, F. Piccotti, R. Allevi, M. Truffi, L. Sorrentino, L. Russo, M. Agozzino, L. Signati, A. Bonizzi, L. Villani, F. Corsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Patient-derived organoids (PDO) technology represents an emerging tool for the study of tumor biology and drug responsiveness, thus being useful to design personalized medicine approaches. Despite several studies and clinical trials are ongoing using PDO from colorectal and pancreatic cancer, only few research papers have been published exploiting PDO from breast cancer. Here, we have developed a new protocol to establish PDO from surgical and biopsy samples. Furthermore, we have set up also the methodologies adopted for culture and morphological evaluations. Results: Surgical and core biopsy specimens collected from 33 patients with diagnosis of breast cancer have been processed using the protocols here described obtaining PDO from cancerous and healthy mammary tissue (when available) in a quick and easy way with good yields. The more critical aspects influencing the yield were the characteristic of the tissue of origin (healthy vs tumor tissue) and the amount of material obtained after enzymatic digestion process. Success rate from healthy samples was about 20,83%, while this percentage was higher in samples from cancer tissue (i.e. 87,5%). Also the morphological characterization of breast cancer PDO by brightfield and transmission electron microscopy has been reported. Conclusions: Despite obtaining some organoids from a surgical or biopsy specimen is not a difficult procedure, the establishment of a stable organoid line able to grow and replicate, suitable for long-term biobank storage, is not so obvious. A novel, simple and quick procedure to obtain PDO from surgical and biopsy samples is here proposed to achieve high success rate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalBiological Procedures Online
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2019


  • Biopsy
  • Breast Cancer
  • Patient-derived organoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Establishment and Morphological Characterization of Patient-Derived Organoids from Breast Cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this