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Clin Cancer Res. 2000 Mar;6(3):1038-45.

Rapid ("warm") autopsy study for procurement of metastatic prostate cancer.

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Department of Pathology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109, USA.


In this report, we describe the distribution of metastases from 14 patients who had hormone-refractory adenocarcinoma of the prostate and agreed while alive to undergo directed autopsies after their deaths. These autopsies were undertaken specifically to document the distribution of metastases, characterize tumors phenotypically and immunohistochemically, harvest fresh and snap frozen tumor and normal control tissues suitable for molecular examination, and establish cell lines via passages through generations of severe combined immunodeficient and athymic mice. Achievement of these goals was obtained through the development of a multidisciplinary team approach. Team members included a medical oncologist, pathologists, urologists, and researchers. The autopsy and tissue procurement teams were available on a round-the-clock basis. The tissues harvested from these autopsies yielded high-quality tumor samples, as evidenced by excellent preservation seen by light microscopy, strong prostate-specific antigen immunostaining, and the successful development of xenografts. The development and expansion of this program represent a valuable resource for molecular and clinical researchers.

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