Collect

At present, we can perform our test on cancer cells derived from either:

Liquid biopsy

We have considerable experience of performing our test on cancer cells derived from ascitic fluid.
In the majority of cases, there is a sufficient number of cells in ascitic fluid from patients with ovarian cancer to perform our chemosensitivity test. We have also successfully performed our test on ascetic fluid derived from patients with other cancers.
Other bodily fluids, such as pleural effusions, may also contain sufficient cancer cells for us to perform our test but we currently have little experience of working with these. It should be noted that there is no theoretical reason why these other bodily fluids would not be suitable for our test so please get in touch if you would be interested in working with Imagen Therapeutics to develop this service.
The basic requirements for sending us a sample of ascites (or other bodily fluid) are:

  • We require a minimum volume of 500 ml of freshly drained fluid stored in a suitable sterile container
  • Fluid should be refrigerated (2 °C and 8 °C) as soon as possible after collection
  • The sample bottles need to be kept cool during transportation by the use of gel packs or similar and an insulated container

Ideally, samples should reach us within 24 hours of draining. Our tests have shown minimal degradation up to 24 hours (if kept refrigerated) but steady deterioration thereafter.

Imagen Therapeutics can arrange the following:

  • Overnight courier service to our labs. For centres located in central London, the courier will bring insulated containers and gel pack inserts to keep the sample cold until it reaches us
  • For regular users, a supply of suitable sample bottles and labels can be provided

Please contact us for further instructions for sending fluid samples, customised for your own particular circumstances.

Solid tumours

We have processed samples provided to us as a biopsy taken during surgical resection or following a dedicated biopsy procedure.
Our general observations are:

  • Placing the sample in isotonic saline immediately after removal from the body limits tissue dehydration damage
  • For resected samples, cells start to die as soon as the tumour’s blood supply is interrupted.
  • Pre-chilled isotonic saline is superior to room temperature
  • Smaller samples have better cell viability as a percentage, probably due to more efficient media penetration. However, very small samples contain fewer cells. The optimal sample is a larger piece rapidly chopped up into fragments of around 1-2 mm cubed placed quickly into chilled media

We usually see excellent viability if the sample is received by Imagen Therapeutics within 24 hours of removal from the body. Our experimental teams will do an initial test of cell viability and if the tissue sample is too necrotic and we cannot proceed with tissue testing we will inform you immediately.

Imagen Therapeutics can arrange the following:

  • Overnight courier service to our labs. For centres located in central London, the courier will bring insulated containers and gel pack inserts to keep the sample cold until it reaches us
  • For regular users, a supply of suitable sample bottles and labels can be provided

Please contact us for further instructions for sending solid samples, customised for your own particular circumstances.

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Collect – a liquid or solid biopsy is taken and is sent to Imagen Therapeutics’ laboratory for testing

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Test – upon arrival the sample is processed, chemotherapy drugs are administered and cell death is monitored

Report – results are analysed and a chemosensitivity ranking report is produced with information on those agents likely to be effective