FCF Funded Projects

Fibrolamellar carcinoma model development and analysis

Status: Active

Timeframe: 2019 – 2022

Goal: Model development

Principal Investigator: Nabeel Bardeesy, PhD, Associate Professor, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University

Multiple FLC models have recently been developed, which have advanced our understanding of this disease. However, additional model development remains a priority for the FLC community. This effort aims to develop multiple different FLC models as resources for the FLC research fibrolamellar cancer research community, and will collaborate with the Fibrolamellar Cancer Biobank established at Massachusetts General Hospital to obtain biological specimens. These specimens will be used to create series of transplant human FLC tumors grown in immune-deficient mice (patient-derived xenograft [PDX] models), three-dimensional cell culture models (3D tumor organoids), and cell lines in partnership with the Broad Institute.

Together with collaborators at the Broad Institute and throughout the FCF research network, the study team will harness these newly developed models to identify genetic dependencies and drug sensitivities of the disease. (see also the Broad Institute initiative). Additional studies will be aimed at further understanding this cancer by examining gene expression at the single cell level and characterizing non-cancerous cells that support or interact with tumor cells such as immune cells and stromal cells that make up the characteristic fibrous bands for which fibrolamellar carcinoma was named. These studies aim to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying FLC formation and growth and ultimately will set the stage for the development of new therapeutics.