BACKGROUND The response to chemotherapy treatment of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is difficult to predict and the identification of patients who most likely will benefit from aggressive chemotherapy approaches is crucial. The concept of personalized medicine has emerged in the last years with the objective to tailor the medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient, and particularly to the tumor biology of each patient. The need for in-vivo xenotransplantation models for cancer patients has increased exponentially, and for this reason zebrafish avatars have gained popularity. Preliminary studies were conducted also with PDAC tissue. AIM To develop a simple, not expensive, diffusible zebrafish embryo model as avatar for patients affected by PDAC. METHODS Tumor tissue was taken from the surgical specimen by the histopathologist. After its fragmentation into small pieces, they are stained with CM-Dil. Small pieces of stained tissue were transplanted into the yolk of wt AB zebrafish embryos with a glass capillary needle. Embryos were incubated at 35 °C in E3 medium supplemented with 1% Pen/Strep in the presence or absence of drugs for the following days in respect of the treatment plan (Gemcitabine; Gemcitabine and Oxaliplatin; Gemcitabine and nab-Paclitaxel; 5-Fluorouracil and Folinic acid and Oxaliplatin and Irinotecan). The response of zebrafish xenografts to the chemotherapy options has been analyzed by monitoring the fluorescent stained area at 2 h post injection (hpi), 1 d and 2 d post injection (dpi). In each time point, the mean size of the stained area was measured by ImageJ and it was normalized with respect to the 1 dpi time point mean relative tumor area (RTA). We evaluated the effect of the chemotherapy exposition comparing the mean RTA of each treated subgroup and the control group and evaluating the percentage reduction of the mean RTA by comparing each treated subgroup with the control group. RESULTS Between July 2018 and October 2019, a total of 15 patients with pancreatic cancer were prospectively enrolled. In all cases, it was possible to take a fragment of the tumor from the surgical specimen for the xenotransplantation in the zebrafish embryos. The histological examination confirmed the presence of a PDAC in all cases. In absence of chemotherapy (control group), over time the Dil-stained area showed a statistically significant increase in all cases. A statistically significant reduction of the mean RTA in the treated subgroups for at least one chemotherapy scheme was reported in 6/15 (40%) cases. The analysis of the percentage reduction of the RTA in treated subgroups in comparison to the control group revealed the presence of a linear relationship in each subgroup between the percentage reduction of the RTA and the number of cases reporting each percentage threshold considered for the analysis. CONCLUSION Our model seems to be effective for the xenotransplantation of PDAC tissue and evaluation of the effect of each chemotherapy scheme on the xenotransplanted tumor tissue.

Use of zebrafish embryos as avatar of patients with pancreatic cancer: A new xenotransplantation model towards personalized medicine

Di Franco Gregorio
Co-primo
;
Usai Alice
Co-primo
;
Funel Niccola;Palmeri Matteo;Montesanti Ida Elena Rosamaria;Bianchini Matteo;Gianardi Desirée;Furbetta Niccolò;Guadagni Simone;Vasile Enrico;Falcone Alfredo;Raffa Vittoria
Penultimo
;
Morelli Luca
Ultimo
2020-01-01

Abstract

BACKGROUND The response to chemotherapy treatment of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is difficult to predict and the identification of patients who most likely will benefit from aggressive chemotherapy approaches is crucial. The concept of personalized medicine has emerged in the last years with the objective to tailor the medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient, and particularly to the tumor biology of each patient. The need for in-vivo xenotransplantation models for cancer patients has increased exponentially, and for this reason zebrafish avatars have gained popularity. Preliminary studies were conducted also with PDAC tissue. AIM To develop a simple, not expensive, diffusible zebrafish embryo model as avatar for patients affected by PDAC. METHODS Tumor tissue was taken from the surgical specimen by the histopathologist. After its fragmentation into small pieces, they are stained with CM-Dil. Small pieces of stained tissue were transplanted into the yolk of wt AB zebrafish embryos with a glass capillary needle. Embryos were incubated at 35 °C in E3 medium supplemented with 1% Pen/Strep in the presence or absence of drugs for the following days in respect of the treatment plan (Gemcitabine; Gemcitabine and Oxaliplatin; Gemcitabine and nab-Paclitaxel; 5-Fluorouracil and Folinic acid and Oxaliplatin and Irinotecan). The response of zebrafish xenografts to the chemotherapy options has been analyzed by monitoring the fluorescent stained area at 2 h post injection (hpi), 1 d and 2 d post injection (dpi). In each time point, the mean size of the stained area was measured by ImageJ and it was normalized with respect to the 1 dpi time point mean relative tumor area (RTA). We evaluated the effect of the chemotherapy exposition comparing the mean RTA of each treated subgroup and the control group and evaluating the percentage reduction of the mean RTA by comparing each treated subgroup with the control group. RESULTS Between July 2018 and October 2019, a total of 15 patients with pancreatic cancer were prospectively enrolled. In all cases, it was possible to take a fragment of the tumor from the surgical specimen for the xenotransplantation in the zebrafish embryos. The histological examination confirmed the presence of a PDAC in all cases. In absence of chemotherapy (control group), over time the Dil-stained area showed a statistically significant increase in all cases. A statistically significant reduction of the mean RTA in the treated subgroups for at least one chemotherapy scheme was reported in 6/15 (40%) cases. The analysis of the percentage reduction of the RTA in treated subgroups in comparison to the control group revealed the presence of a linear relationship in each subgroup between the percentage reduction of the RTA and the number of cases reporting each percentage threshold considered for the analysis. CONCLUSION Our model seems to be effective for the xenotransplantation of PDAC tissue and evaluation of the effect of each chemotherapy scheme on the xenotransplanted tumor tissue.
2020
DI FRANCO, Gregorio; Usai, Alice; Funel, Niccola; Palmeri, Matteo; Montesanti, IDA ELENA ROSAMARIA; Bianchini, Matteo; Gianardi, Desirée; Furbetta, Niccolò; Guadagni, Simone; Vasile, Enrico; Falcone, Alfredo; Pollina Luca, Emanuele; Raffa, Vittoria; Morelli, Luca
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1044980
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