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Patient-specific 3D cell culture platform for personalized cancer treatment


Project TitlePatient-specific 3D cell culture platform for personalized cancer treatment
Track CodeP47907
Short DescriptionNone
Tagstherapeutic, cell line, diagnostic, Personalized healthcare, biologic, oncology, pharmaceuticals, biomaterials
Posted DateAug 31, 2017

IR #



This technology is a 3D cell culture platform in which a multicellular aggregate is prepared directly from a patient tumor sample, enabling rapid evaluation of chemo- and immunotherapeutic agents ex vivo.

Unmet Need: Rapid, inexpensive, and physiologically-relevant model to assess patient response to cancer treatment

Current cell culture platforms for predicting patient response to cancer therapeutics often fail to recapitulate the physiology of the tumor microenvironment. Two-dimensional cell culture fail to simulate the architecture and biochemical gradients within and around a solid tumor. 3D cell culture methods have been described that seek to address these limitations, but they do not recapitulate key aspects of the tumor niche, including the presence of the cell-assembled basement membrane that surrounds early stage epithelial-based tumors. As such, there is a need for an improved 3D cell culture method that can provide a rapid, inexpensive, and physiologically-relevant model of the tumor microenvironment to enable personalized cancer treatment.

The Technology: Personalized 3D cell culture for patient-specific tumor analysis and drug screening

This technology employs patient-derived cancer cells – and and can incorporate patient fibroblasts and immune cells – to create an in vitro 3D cell culture that mimics the tumor microenvironment, allowing rapid screening of therapeutics for personalized cancer treatment. The 3D cell cultures only require 1-2 days of preparation post patient cell collection and thus allow for high-throughput screening of chemo- and immuno-therapeutic efficacy. Unlike existing 3D cell culture methods, this technology produces spheroids with a cell-assembled basement membrane. As the basement membrane is present in early carcinomas, this technology may be used to assess both anti-proliferative and anti-invasive drug sensitivity, an important clinical distinction for preventing metastasis. As such, this technology could enable clinicians to personalize treatment plans to ensure patients receive therapeutics that target both cancer cell proliferation and invasion.

A prototype of this technology has been used to assess the susceptibility of metastasizing cancer to pharmacological matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibition.

Lead Inventors:

Laura Kaufman, Ph.D.

Patent Information:

Patent Pending

Potential Applications

  • Patient-specific platform for rapid prediction of therapeutic efficacy

  • Screening tool for chemo- or immunotherapies prior to administration

  • Research tool to understand the tumor microenvironment and metastasis

  • Drug screening in complex environments


  • High-throughput platform for disease analysis and drug screening

  • Requires small amount of patient material

  • Cell-assembled basement membrane enhances physiological relevance

  • Inexpensive and rapid culture growth

  • Patient-specific cell culture platform



Beth Kauderer
Columbia Technology Ventures
Tel: (212) 854-8444


Other Information

Principal Investigator