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NCI Patient-Derived Models Repository (PDMR) - An NCI Precision Oncology Initiative Resource
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Last Updated: 08/02/18

Information for Requesting In Vitro Material

Request Process

  1. Initial distribution will be DOMESTIC ONLY, International distribution will follow. International requestors can request to be placed on a notification list once models can be distributed internationally.
  2. Fill out a PDMR In Vitro Model Request Form.
  3. Provide no more than a 2-page summary of the research plan for the requested material on the PDMR Model Request Form
    1. If requesting CAF cultures, be sure to supply sufficient justification why the proposed research should be considered over other requestors. CAFs are non-renewable by the PDMR and once distribution material is used up, no further material will be available.
  4. If the recipient wishes to expand into other media than the Complete Media specified in the Certificate of Analysis provided with the requested cultures or on non-Matrigel coated flasks, the recipient should first establish a stock of viably cryopreserved vials of cells per the PDMR SOP and then test viability in alternate media conditions.
  5. Currently the PDMR can only accept payments via checks. No electronic funds transfers can be accepted (see payment procedures in PDMR In Vitro Material Request Procedures document).
  6. Send the Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) with signatures affixed from both the requestor and authorizing official (required by NCI). Modifications to NCIs MTA will not be considered.
  7. Note: For standard requests for research-use of PDMR material, the check-box in bullet #3 does not need to be checked. This is for specific use-case collaborations set-up by the NCI.
  8. Intramural investigators (MD campus) need to complete the Request Form and Intramural MTA and will go through the same review process as all other Requestors; Intramural investigators can leave the FedEx and Payment Information blank.

Citing NCI Patient-Derived Models and Associated Data

  • To cite the PDMR, use a format similar to that shown below:

    The NCI Patient-Derived Models Repository (PDMR), NCI-Frederick, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Frederick, MD. URL

  • The full distribution lot name should be used in the publication (e.g., 123456-001-R-J1-PDC), not an abbreviated form. In addition, the lot# received and the passage of material used for analysis should be cited.
  • Any modifications to the distributed model should be identified (e.g., transfection, CRISPR, etc.).
  • Sequence files downloaded for use in analysis should be referenced including the version# listed in the file name as different pipeline versions may result in different interpretations of the data (e.g., v1.2, v1.3, v2.


  • All NCI Patient-Derived Models Repository (PDMR) in vitro cultures are tested for sterility and confirmed mycoplasma free.
  • Viably cryopreserved PDC and CAF cultures contain a minimum of 7.5 x 105 cells. These vials should be immediately placed in LN2 Vapor Phase (-180C); Do not store at -80C.
  • Read the provided Certificate of Analysis for details on the culture and access the Complete Media recipe for the specific culture that was requested on the PDMR SOP page. Do not thaw cells until the Complete Media has been prepared and PDMR SOPs for thawing, banking, and cryopreserving material have been read in total.
  • Cells should always be thawed using the PDMR SOPs into the recommended media. One stock vial can be used to generate one T25 flask. Failure to follow these SOPs will likely result in loss of the cell culture and a free replacement vial will not be provided.
  • Alternate media conditions or sub-culture conditions should not be attempted until a cryopreserved cell stock in the recommended media has been established. Details in Appendix 1 of the SOPs.
  • Patient-Derived Tumor Cultures (PDCs) are guaranteed for experimental use for ≥20 passages when maintained in the recommended Complete Media + Y compound following the PDMR SOPs.
  • Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts (CAFs) have a finite lifespan in vitro. CAFs are guaranteed for experimental use for up to 3 passages when maintained in the recommended Complete Media + Y compound. Additional population doublings and subcultures are possible, but overall fitness of culture may deteriorate with subsequent passages.