Establishment of a primary culture of patient-derived soft tissue sarcoma

Alessandro De Vita, Laura Mercatali, Giacomo Miserocchi, Chiara Liverani, Chiara Spadazzi, Federica Recine, Alberto Bongiovanni, Federica Pieri, Davide Cavaliere, Valentina Fausti, Dino Amadori, Toni Ibrahim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) represent a spectrum of heterogeneous malignancies with a difficult diagnosis, classification, and management. To date, more than 50 histological subtypes of these rare solid tumors have been identified. Thus, due to their extraordinary diversity and low incidence, our understanding of the biology of these tumors is still limited. Patient-derived cultures represent the ideal platform to study STS pathophysiology and pharmacology. We thus developed a human preclinical model of STS starting from tumor specimens harvested from patients undergoing surgical resection. Patient-derived STS cell cultures were obtained from the surgical specimens by collagenase digestion and isolated by filtration. Cells were counted, seeded, and left for 14 days in standard monolayer cultures and then processed by downstream analysis. Before performing molecular or pharmaceutical analyses, the establishment of STS primary cultures was confirmed through the evaluation of cytomorphologic features and, when available, immunohistochemical markers. This method represents a useful tool 1) to study the natural history of these poorly explored malignancies and 2) to test the effects of different drugs in an effort to learn more about their mechanisms of action.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere56767
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number134
Publication statusPublished - Apr 12 2018


  • Cancer research
  • Human preclinical model
  • In vitro
  • Issue 134
  • Patient-derived primary culture
  • Rare tumor
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Surgical specimen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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