In vitro human-derived sarcoma cell lines are essential tools for conducting sarcoma pharmacogenomic studies that can help to predict the clinical response of these tumors to new drugs.
What are sarcoma cell lines used for?
Sarcoma cell lines are used to study the biology of sarcoma subtypes and to test novel compounds or drug combinations designed to combat these rare, life-threatening malignancies. In addition, sarcoma cell lines are crucial to investigate the biological properties of biomarker candidates.
How are sarcoma cell lines produced?
Patient-derived sarcoma cell lines are cultures of sarcoma patient cells that can be propagated repeatedly, growing over time, under laboratory conditions. They are generated from primary cell cultures, directly from fresh sarcoma patient tissues.
Sarcoma: a challenging disease
Sarcomas are rare malignant tumors (about 1% of all human cancers) of mesenchymal origin with unique biological and clinical characteristics, deriving from connective tissues (soft tissue sarcomas) or bones (e. g. Ewing’s sarcoma, osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, chordoma). Given their great heterogeneity, complexity, and rarity, the clinical management of sarcomas is highly challenging.
For instance, soft tissue sarcoma (STS) is a heterogeneous group of tumors comprising over 60 different histologies. The diversity in sarcoma phenotype and genotype makes treatment of this family of diseases exceptionally difficult.
Current sarcoma treatments
Most sarcoma subtypes are still treated with traditional therapeutic modalities. Surgery with or without adjuvant or neoadjuvant radiation is the most common approach for localized disease. Over half of sarcoma patients will develop metastatic disease, which is treated with chemotherapy and, most recently, with various molecularly targeted agents.
After 30 years, doxorubicin remains the standard of care in first line of advanced disease for many soft tissue sarcomas, while other compounds like gemcitabine, trabectedin, pazopanib, eribulin, among others, are used for second and further lines of systemic treatment. All these drugs have shown clinical activity but, unfortunately, not to the point of offering a curative attempt. Therefore, new treatments for sarcoma are desperately needed.
The importance of robust sarcoma clinical trial design
The rare incidence of each sarcoma subtype makes clinical trials very challenging. Even sarcoma-specific trials often have enrolled patients with any sarcoma subtype, despite different etiologies and clinical manifestations, resulting in highly heterogeneous patient cohorts.
Since the number of patients who can be recruited into clinical trials is limited for sarcomas, conducting robust preclinical studies to evaluate the eligibility of potential anticancer drugs becomes fundamental.
What sarcoma cell lines can we offer?
Sofpromed, in collaboration with its preclinical partners, offers the following sarcoma cell line-related solutions:
- Patient-derived, readily available cell lines, including leiomyosarcoma, angiosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST), among other subtypes.
- Evaluation of molecular mechanisms related to sarcoma progression.
- Assessment of the effect of novel drugs at the cellular and subcellular levels.
- Pharmacogenomic studies to predict the efficacy (clinical response) of new compounds or drug combinations.
In addition to sarcoma cell lines, we can also offer patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models for specific sarcoma subtypes, which will enable additional in vivo preclinical research on new drugs.