The TargetCancer Cholangiocarcinoma Cell Line Bank at Massachusetts General Hospital

The TargetCancer Cholangiocarcinoma Cell Line Bank at Massachusetts General Hospital

In 2012, TargetCancer provided funding to create The TargetCancer Cholangiocarcinoma Cell Line Bank at Massachusetts General Hospital, and has provided continuous funding for this effort ever since. This innovative program is a collaborative effort between laboratory researchers, surgeons, pathologists, and medical oncologists to generate new cholangiocarcinoma cell lines and patient-derived xenografts.

These cell lines are quickly subjected to a series of studies to understand the biology and genomic makeup of individual tumors, the roles of specific mutated genes, and to test the efficacy of new drug treatments. In addition, the xenografts are used for further testing in vivo. This testing provides critical and otherwise lacking information that is yielding exciting new data for identifying potential treatment options for cholangiocarcinoma.

Under the leadership of Nabeel Bardeesy, PhD and MGH surgeon Cristina Ferrone, MD, the TargetCancer Cholangiocarcinoma Cell Line Bank has expanded to several medical centers since being founded, including:

• Massachusetts General Hospital
• Lahey Clinic
• University of Massachusetts

Whereas the excess tumor tissue not required for diagnosis is normally discarded following surgery, under this Cell Line Bank program the tissue is now rushed to Dr. Bardeesy’s laboratory and used to test important research questions.

To illustrate the scale of the problem prior to the creation of the TargetCancer Cholangiocarcinoma Cell Line Bank, fewer than five cholangiocarcinoma cell lines were readily available from the main cell line repository in the United States (the ATTC). By comparison, dozens to hundreds of cell lines were available for lung cancer, breast cancer and other tumor types.

The TargetCancer Cholangiocarcinoma Cell Line Bank has created a significant collection of cholangiocarcinoma xenografts and cell lines. The continued establishment of new, well documented xenografts and cell lines from North American patients provides a powerful research platform for elucidating the biology of this disease, and for identifying and testing potential new drug treatments. This robust resource represents a major unmet need in the field that will serve the cholangiocarcinoma research community and patients.

Want to learn more?
Click here for more information about the need for cell lines, and why they are important to cholangiocarcinoma research.