“In 100 percent of cases, if a drug didn’t work on a patient’s organoids, then it didn’t work in the patient, and in nearly 90 percent of cases, if a drug did work on the organoids, then it worked in the patient.”
For cancer patients with just months to live, time is short—too short to try drug after drug with the hope of finding one that slows the disease. But lab-grown mini tumors derived from patients’ cells could offer a way to test many drugs in parallel, saving time and possibly extending lifetimes. A report today (February 22) in Science brings this concept closer to clinical reality.
Previously, there has been “anecdotal evidence that observations in the clinic can be reproduced with organoids,” says stem cell and developmental biologist Hans Clevers of the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht, the Netherlands, who was not involved in the research. “But, [the authors] have now for the first time come up with a large number of cases like that and have statistical [results] that are very impressive.”
They have “shown definitively that these organoids are predictive of response,” Clevers continues. “I’m sure this is going to be one of the key papers in this field.”
Nature Medicine. Sept 2017; Vol 23, Nr 9: 1028-1035
Cell. 2018 Jan 11;172(1-2):373-386.
Trends Mol Med. 2017 May;23(5):393-410.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Nov 1;113(44):E6831-E6839.
Nature. 2016 Nov 24;539(7630):560-564.
Nat Mater. 2016 Mar;15(3):344-52
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