AUG 07, 2020 7:36 AM PDT

Using organoids to improve chemotherapy for advanced stages of colon and appendiceal cancer

New research published in the journal Annals of Surgical Oncology uses organoids to finetune chemotherapies that treat patients with advanced stages of colon and appendiceal cancer. Organoids are 3D multicellular in vitro tissue formed from pluripotent stem cells or adult progenitor cells that mimic their corresponding in vivo organ. They provide an alternative to studying drug development using traditional 2D cell cultures and animal models, which have certain limitations.

The specific organoids used for this research were made by researchers at the Wake Forest Organoid Research Center (WFORCE) who wanted to determine a method of improving hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), the therapy that is administered to cancer patients who have tumors in their abdomens. HIPEC has been shown to increase life expectancy for patients when combined with cytoreductive surgery to remove tumors in the abdomen.

Using patient-specific tumor organoid models, the researchers showed how it is possible to predict the effectiveness of HIPEC on certain individuals and henceforth personalize a patient-specific approach.

"With this organoid platform, we can quantify the impact of each drug in killing cancer cells. We can select the correct drug for the correct patient at the correct concentration and temperature, or even spare the patient from a procedure that will not substantially improve his or her outcomes," explained senior author Konstantinos Votanopoulos, MD, Ph.D., professor of surgery.

"Using a patient-specific tumor organoid model will eventually allow patients to be treated with the best available chemotherapy while sparing the toxicity of drugs that are not effective for their specific tumor," added first author Steven Forsythe, MS.

Photo: Pixabay

Co-author Shay Soker, PhD is a professor of regenerative medicine at WFIRM. Soker says that these findings demonstrate that "the organoid model can accurately represent what occurs inside a patient's body.” By simulating the environment inside of organs, organoids offer a unique opportunity. “The research continues to show that organoids are promising candidates for drug screening to assist in clinical decision making as well as in the study of how environmental factors, viruses or toxins impact cellular function of both normal and tumor cells," concludes Soker.

Sources: Annals of Surgical Oncology, Eureka Alert 

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JUN 07, 2021
Health & Medicine
Higher Incidence of Breast Cancer in Polluted Urban Areas
JUN 07, 2021
Higher Incidence of Breast Cancer in Polluted Urban Areas
A Taiwanese study looked at the incidence of breast cancer in areas of Taiwan with varying levels of air pollutants. Air ...
JUL 22, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Cancer Cells in the Lab Aren't Like Cancer Cells in the Body
JUL 22, 2021
Cancer Cells in the Lab Aren't Like Cancer Cells in the Body
To study biology, researchers need models. Once those models might have been a bit limited to organisms like rats or mic ...
AUG 07, 2021
Cancer
New Drug Combo Eliminates Pancreatic Cancer in Mice
AUG 07, 2021
New Drug Combo Eliminates Pancreatic Cancer in Mice
A combination of three immunotherapy drugs can eliminate pancreatic tumors in mice. The study was published in Canc ...
AUG 13, 2021
Cancer
Ultrasound Triggers Immunotherapy to Destroy Tumors
AUG 13, 2021
Ultrasound Triggers Immunotherapy to Destroy Tumors
An immunotherapy engineered to be triggered by ultrasound beams significantly slows the growth of cancerous tumors in mi ...
AUG 19, 2021
Immunology
Immune Enzyme Kills Viruses but Makes Tumors Stronger
AUG 19, 2021
Immune Enzyme Kills Viruses but Makes Tumors Stronger
Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novel Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde describes a man who is a kind, respect ...
SEP 23, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
The FDA approves the first and only oral treatment for a certain non-small cell lung cancer.
SEP 23, 2021
The FDA approves the first and only oral treatment for a certain non-small cell lung cancer.
Last week, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval for the first oral therapy to ...
Loading Comments...