(HealthDay News) – Conditional reprogramming can be successfully used to generate cell cultures from normal and tumor tissue of a patient with papillomatosis, facilitating identification of a mutant human papillomavirus (HPV) and allowing appropriate treatment, according to a study published in the Sept 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Hang Yuan, PhD, from the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and colleagues describe a case of a 24-year-old male patient with a 20-year history of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis with progressive, bilateral tumor invasion of the lung parenchyma. Conditional reprogramming was used to generate cell cultures from normal and tumorous tissue taken from the patient’s lung.

The researchers found that there were distinct HPV-11 genomes in the laryngeal tumor cells and pulmonary tumor cells, with a wild-type 7.9-kb and 10.4-kb HPV-11 genome, respectively. Duplication of the promoter and oncogene regions accounted for the increase in size of the viral genome from the pulmonary tumor. Based on chemosensitivity testing, vorinostat was identified as a potential therapeutic agent. Tumor sizes had stabilized at three months after treatment initiation, with durable effects seen at 15 months.

“In this study, we used the method [conditional reprogramming] to establish long-term cultures of tumor cells from a patient with recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. The cultures helped us to identify a mutant HPV-11 in the lung tumors and to screen a limited number of drugs for potential clinical application,” the authors write. “This represents an example of personalized medicine.”

Two authors disclosed involvement with a patent regarding the cell culture technology used in the study.

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