Optical Imaging of Drug-Induced Metabolism Changes in Murine and Human Pancreatic Cancer Organoids Reveals Heterogeneous Drug Response

Alex J. Walsh, Jason A. Castellanos, Nagaraj Nagathihalli, Nipun Merchant, Melissa C. Skala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: Three-dimensional organoids derived from primary pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas are an attractive platform for testing potential anticancer drugs on patient-specific tissue. Optical metabolic imaging (OMI) is a novel tool used to assess drug-induced changes in cellular metabolism, and its quantitative end point, the OMI index, is evaluated as a biomarker of drug response in pancreatic cancer organoids. METHODS: Optical metabolic imaging is used to assess both malignant cell and fibroblast drug response within primary murine and human pancreatic cancer organoids. RESULTS: Anticancer drugs induce significant reductions in the OMI index of murine and human pancreatic cancer organoids. Subpopulation analysis of OMI data revealed heterogeneous drug response and elucidated responding and nonresponding cell populations for a 7-day time course. Optical metabolic imaging index significantly correlates with immunofluorescence detection of cell proliferation and cell death. CONCLUSIONS: Optical metabolic imaging of primary pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma organoids is highly sensitive to drug-induced metabolic changes, provides a nondestructive method for monitoring dynamic drug response, and presents a novel platform for patient-specific drug testing and drug development.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - Oct 22 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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