Ye LF, Reznik E, Korn JM, Lin F, Yang G, Malesky K, Gao H, Loo A, Pagliarini R, Mikkelsen T, Lo DC, DeCarvalho AC, and Stockwell BR. Patient-derived glioblastoma cultures as a tool for small-molecule drug discovery. Oncotarget 2020; 11(4):443-451.
There is a compelling need for new therapeutic strategies for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Preclinical target and therapeutic discovery for GBMs is primarily conducted using cell lines grown in serum-containing media, such as U-87 MG, which do not reflect the gene expression profiles of tumors found in GBM patients. To address this lack of representative models, we sought to develop a panel of patient-derived GBM models and characterize their genomic features, using RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and growth characteristics, both when grown as neurospheres in culture, and grown orthotopically as xenografts in mice. When we compared these with commonly used GBM cell lines in the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE), we found these patient-derived models to have greater diversity in gene expression and to better correspond to GBMs directly sequenced from patient tumor samples. We also evaluated the potential of these models for targeted therapy, by using the genomic characterization to identify small molecules that inhibit the growth of distinct subsets of GBMs, paving the way for precision medicines for GBM.