The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism Journal Article

Papillary Thyroid Cancer Organoids

May 31, 2021
 

Dong Chen, Yawen Tan, Zhichao Li, Wujiao Li, Lei Yu, Wei Chen, Yuchen Liu, Lisa Liu, Liangfeng Guo, Weiren Huang, Yongsheng Zhao
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 106, Issue 5, May 2021, Pages 1410–1426
https://doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgab020

Abstract

Context

Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) has been one of the most frequent endocrine malignancies around the world. Although most PTC patients have a favorable prognosis, a subgroup of patients die, especially when disease recurrence occurs. There is a pressing need for clinically relevant preclinical thyroid cancer models for personalized therapy because of the lack of in vitro models that faithfully represent the biology of the parental tumors.

Objective

To understand thyroid cancer and translate this knowledge to clinical applications, patient-derived PTC organoids as a promising new preclinical model were established.

Methods

Surgically resected PTC primary tissues were dissociated and processed for organoid derivation. Tumor organoids were subsequently subjected to histological characterization, DNA sequencing, drug screen, and cell proliferation assay, respectively.

Results

We describe a 3-dimensional culture system for the long-term expansion of patient-derived PTC organoid lines. Notably, PTC organoids preserve the histopathological profiles and genomic heterogeneity of the originating tumors. Drug sensitivity assays of PTC organoids demonstrate patient-specific drug responses, and large correlations with the respective mutational profiles. Estradiol was shown to promote cell proliferation of PTC organoids in the presence of estrogen receptor α (ERα), regardless of the expression of ERβ and G protein-coupled ER.

Conclusion

These data suggest that these newly developed PTC-derived organoids may be an excellent preclinical model for studying clinical response to anticancer drugs in a personalized way, as well as provide a potential strategy to develop prevention and treatment options for thyroid cancer with Erα-specific antagonists.

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