In vitro 3D cell systems of oropharyngeal cancer
Three dimensional organoid cultures
This project is primarily focused on the development of 3D organoid cultures that incorporate some of the key features of tonsillar tissue, such as tissue architecture and cell populations. Organoid cultures have emerged as an attractive system to study epithelial regeneration and in vitro disease modelling, and for preclinical assessment of efficacy for immune-oncology therapeutics.
Single-cells are sorted of from primary tissue and epithelial cell lines originating from oropharyngeal cancer samples using multicolour flow cytometry, and development of cell culture conditions which will be evaluated in terms of effects on cell viability, growth and tissue structure. It includes analysis of cell types which have the capacity to regenerate, for example cancer stem cells, as well as live-cell imaging, immunohistochemistry and proteomic characterization of the self-organizing 3D structures.
The organoid cultures will ultimately be used in co-cultures with immune cells isolated from both Human papilloma virus positive and negative oropharyngeal cancer samples to study suppressive mechanisms and the ability of DC subpopulations to induce efficient anti-tumour CD4+ and CD8+ T responses, and to test novel immunotherapeutic antibodies developed in-house.