Brain cancer research has been hampered by a paucity of viable clinical tissue of sufficient quality and quantity for experimental research. This has driven researchers to rely heavily on long term cultured cells which no longer represent the cancers from which they were derived. Resection of brain tumors, particularly at the interface between normal and tumorigenic tissue, can be carried out using an ultrasonic surgical aspirator (CUSA) that deposits liquid (blood and irrigation fluid) and resected tissue into a sterile bottle for disposal. To determine the utility of CUSA-derived glioma tissue for experimental research, we collected 48 CUSA specimen bottles from glioma patients and analyzed both the solid tissue fragments and dissociated tumor cells suspended in the liquid waste fraction. We investigated if these fractions would be useful for analyzing tumor heterogeneity, using IHC and multi-parameter flow cytometry; we also assessed culture generation and orthotopic xenograft potential. Both cell sources proved to be an abundant, highly viable source of live tumor cells for cytometric analysis, animal studies and in-vitro studies. Our findings demonstrate that CUSA tissue represents an abundant viable source to conduct experimental research and to carry out diagnostic analyses by flow cytometry or other molecular diagnostic procedures.
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- Brain cancer
- Brain cancer stem cells
- Multiplex flow cytometric analysis
- Surgical aspirate
- Tumor heterogeneity