genomic fidelity of conditionally reprogrammed cells
 compared to primary cancer and xenografts

I seek to perform a comprehensive DNA sequence analysis of conditionally reprogrammed cells (CRCs) to discern how CRCs can be used as patient-specific models to improve outcomes for patients with advanced oral squamous cell carcinomas. I am proposing a study of the genomics of conditionally reprogrammed cells (CRCs) and xenografts derived from oral squamous cell carcinomas. My work will consist of sequencing the genomes and transcriptomes of these models systems and the primary tumors from which they are derived. This study will answer the fundamental question of whether CRCs faithfully model the heterogeneity and clonality of primary tumors. In other words, we will determine whether these cell lines contain only the same gene mutations as the primary tumor from which they are derived. If true this would establish CRCs as a more useful model than traditional cell lines or xenografts that have lower establishment rates and tend to harbor significant mutation differences from their primary. Ultimately this could allow the real-time testing of drug sensitivity for use in the personalized treatment of these deadly tumors. Some tumor mutations can be used to predict whether a patient will respond to a certain drug. With these cell lines we would be able to rapidly test this prediction before making any treatment decisions.