Method for obtaining primary ovarian cancer cells from solid specimens

Lee J. Pribyl, Kathleen A. Coughlin, Thanasak Sueblinvong, Kristin Shields, Yoshie Iizuka, Levi S Downs, Rahel G Ghebre, Martina Bazzaro

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5 Scopus citations


Reliable tools for investigating ovarian cancer initiation and progression are urgently needed. While the use of ovarian cancer cell lines remains a valuable tool for understanding ovarian cancer, their use has many limitations. These include the lack of heterogeneity and the plethora of genetic alterations associated with extended in vitro passaging. Here we describe a method that allows for rapid establishment of primary ovarian cancer cells form solid clinical specimens collected at the time of surgery. The method consists of subjecting clinical specimens to enzymatic digestion for 30 min. The isolated cell suspension is allowed to grow and can be used for downstream application including drug screening. The advantage of primary ovarian cancer cell lines over established ovarian cancer cell lines is that they are representative of the original specific clinical specimens they are derived from and can be derived from different sites whether primary or metastatic ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere51581
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number84
StatePublished - Feb 4 2014


  • Clinical specimens
  • Downstream applications
  • Epithelial cultures
  • Issue 84
  • Medicine
  • Neoplasms
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Primary cell lines
  • Targeted therapies

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    Pribyl, L. J., Coughlin, K. A., Sueblinvong, T., Shields, K., Iizuka, Y., Downs, L. S., Ghebre, R. G., & Bazzaro, M. (2014). Method for obtaining primary ovarian cancer cells from solid specimens. Journal of Visualized Experiments, (84), [e51581].