Peer-reviewed Publication Showcases VersaGel for Ex Vivo Culture of Patient and PDX Tumors

In a peer-reviewed paper published February, 12, 2019 in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics (an AACR journal), Cypre’s VersaGel extracellular matrix (ECM) hydrogel was used to culture ex vivo tissue in 3D, correctly predicting the clinical response in five glioblastoma patients using resected tumors as well as recapitulating in vivo phenotypes using renal cell carcinoma patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models. The findings described in the paper further demonstrate the applicability of more complex 3D in vitro models in both translational research but also in personalized medicine.

More and more research is showing that 2D cell culture systems and some current 3D technologies like basement membrane extract (BME) or spheroids do not provide the necessary framework to recapitulate the tumor microenvironment. Batch variability or the presence of growth factors in the case of BME can affect drug response and contribute to reproducibility issues. Spheroids, by lacking an ECM, do not properly recreate aspects of tumor progression such as ECM-dependent growth, migration and invasion. The need for a platform that utilizes a batch-consistent, growth factor free ECM hydrogel to enable stronger physiological relevance to in vivo environments is clear.

In the paper titled “A simple three-dimensional hydrogel platform enables ex vivo cell culture of patient and PDX tumors for assaying their response to clinically relevant therapies” the authors use Cypre’s VersaGel ECM hydrogel to grow ex vivo tissue in 3D to demonstrate renal cell tumor growth as a proof of concept and enable in vitro drug validation for these glioblastoma patients. Cypre’s VersaGel successfully allowed ex vivo growths and correctly predicted clinical outcomes for all five patient samples. Read the full paper here.


Robert Lynde