Establishment of Primary Cell Culture From Ascitic Fluid and Solid Tumor Obtained From Epithelial Ovarian Carcinoma Patients

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Ovarian cancer is the seventh leading cause of cancer death worldwide. This is mainly due to late diagnosis and high rate of relapse and resistance following chemotherapy. In the present study, we describe simple and cost-effective method to establish primary culture from ascitic fluid and solid tumor obtained from epithelial ovarian carcinoma patient, which may provide a better tool for in vitro testing of drug sensitivity and designing individualized treatment protocol.


Complete Dulbecco modified Eagle medium (DMEM) was prepared by supplementing DMEM with 10% fetal bovine serum and antibiotics (ciprofloxacin and amphotericin B). Establishment of primary culture of ovarian cancer cells from ascites fluid and solid tumor was done by using complete DMEM media.


Primary cultures of ovarian cancer cells were established from ascitic fluid and solid tumor tissue. Of the 7 ascitic fluid samples, we were able to establish 5 primary cultures of ovarian cancer cells. All the 7 samples were diagnosed as serous papillary adenocarcinoma. Some fibroblasts were also attached to culture flask on day 4; they were removed by exposing them to trypsin for a brief period. On day 7, grape-like clusters were visualized under inverted microscope. The cells became confluent on the 10th and 11th day and showed cobblestone appearance, which is a hallmark of ovarian cancer cells. Senescent irregularly shaped cells that have ceased dividing were seen after 8 to 10 passages.


This study highlights the fact that establishing primary cultures from ascitic fluid or solid tumor tissue may help us to understand the molecular profile of the cancer cells, which allow us to select the best chemotherapeutic agent for ovarian cancer patients and thus take a step toward patient-tailored therapy so that patients are not exposed to drugs to which they are not likely to respond.

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