Maintaining a methods database to optimize solid tumor tissue culture: Review of a 15-year database from a single institution.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.cancergen.2019.01.006


Chromosome analysis of solid tumors provides valuable information for diagnosis and patient management, yet successfully culturing solid tumors can be challenging. The Children's Mercy (CM) Cytogenetics laboratory has compiled a database of 1371 non-lymphoma solid tumors cultured since 2002. Analysis of the tumor culture data found a culture success rate of 91.6%. Abnormal karyotypes were identified in 47.0% of these tumors. A quality improvement project reviewed the database for methods, cell culture success, yield of clonally abnormal karyotypes, culture failure, tumor diagnostic category, and other. This review revealed processes that could be optimized with minor changes to methods in a subset of tumors. Three tumor/method pair examples are provided including adrenal cortical carcinomas (ACCs), choroid plexus tumors (CPTs), and neuroblastoma. The successful culture of tumors as defined by capture of clonally abnormal cells is dependent upon several factors including culture medium, monolayer versus suspension culture, length of time in culture, method of disaggregation and other. The database serves as a quality assurance tool that enables continuous improvement in culture success rate and abnormal yield. It is also an educational resource for laboratory technologists, residents and fellows. Using the database to track methods and results ensures consistency in routine tumor processing, facilitates oversight to optimize methods for quality, and improves results for patient care.

Journal Title

Cancer Genet



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MeSH Keywords

Cytogenetics; Databases, Factual; Humans; Karyotyping; Neoplasms


Cancer; Chromosome; Database; Quality improvement; Solid tumor culture

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