Tumor Organoids Predict How Well Patients Respond to Cancer Drugs

February 22, 2018

(The Scientist) – 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.”

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