Pancreatic Cancer Organoid Model

Pancreatic Cancer Organoid Model

Organoids are complex models that better summarize human diseases than cell lines or spheroids. Unlike spheroids, which are derived from cell lines, organoids are derived from primary cells. Therefore, tissue-like structures are preserved. Organoids allow not only the study of tissue function but also co-culture. Recent studies have suggested that organoids serve as an important tool for future studies of pancreatic cancer (PC). However, the establishment and maintenance of organoid cultures are costly and require extensive technical training. Alfa Cytology has years of experience in constructing models for PC, including PC cell models, PC organoids, genetically engineered mouse models, and transplantation models. Based on our advanced platforms and experienced scientists, we can establish customized, cost-effective, and stable PC organoids to meet the specific requirements of our global customers.

Overview of organoid models

Organoid models can reproduce the three-dimensional structure of tumors and can be controlled manually, overcoming the limitations of traditional models and gaining more and more attention. Organoids can be established from cell lines, tissue fragments, embryos, or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) grown in 3D culture using animal-derived ECM substitutes (such as stromal gels or collagen gels) to generate organ-like structures. To date, the models have been applied to investigate human development and disease, to mimic the tumor microenvironment (TME), and as a preclinical screening tool for drug discovery.

Current 3D modeling trends.Fig.1 Current 3D modeling trends. (Swayden, M., et al., 2020)

The service offering at Alfa Cytology

In order to establish organoid cultures, it is necessary to simulate the homeostatic environment of normal tissue stem cells. Thus, the cells are encapsulated by a stroma that contains key components of the basement membrane and complements the essential elements for sustainable growth of pancreatic epithelial cells that do not contain mesenchyme. Since most pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) samples have high epistasis of KRAS activation, pure tumor cultures can be obtained using selective stress conditions to extract epidermal growth factor (EGF) or add epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors. The organoid models established from our platform can be used to explore PC tumorigenesis and tumor development and therapeutic testing. Our scientists study different types of cell culture conditions and we can support normal and malignant human pancreatic tissue cultures. The patient-derived organoids (PDO) can be cryopreserved and used to perform genetic, transcriptional, proteolytic and biochemical analyses.

Advantages of PC organoids

Advantages of PC organoids
  • More realistic reproduction of PC tumor tissue structure with artificial control
  • Organoid has been shown to exhibit good genomic parallelism with primary PC tumors
  • Organoids can be co-cultured with PC stromal cells
  • Organoids can be used to create organoid-derived xenografts for PC

Applications of our PC organoid model

  • Investigate PC tumorigenesis, metastasis, and development
  • Study the solid and interstitial components of PC
  • Realistic reproduction of the corresponding patient's drug response
  • Allow for targeted evaluation of genes or genetic screening

If you're interested in learning about our tumor models for PC, would like more information about our PC organoid services and solutions, or are interested in a potential partnership or collaboration, please contact us. We will provide a professional, competitively priced strategy that fits your needs.


  1. Miquel, Maria, Shuman Zhang, and Christian Pilarsky. "Pre-clinical Models of Metastasis in Pancreatic Cancer." Frontiers in cell and developmental biology (2021): 2825.
  2. Osuna de la Peña, David, et al. "Bioengineered 3D models of human pancreatic cancer recapitulate in vivo tumour biology." Nature communications 12.1 (2021): 1-15.
  3. Tomás-Bort, Elena, et al. "3D approaches to model the tumor microenvironment of pancreatic cancer." Theranostics 10.11 (2020): 5074.
  4. Swayden, Mirna, Philippe Soubeyran, and Juan Iovanna. "Upcoming revolutionary paths in preclinical modeling of pancreatic adenocarcinoma." Frontiers in oncology 9 (2020): 1443.
All of our services are intended for preclinical research use only and cannot be used to diagnose, treat or manage patients.