The official MedZine Blog

Interpretation of medical news

Netherlands Cancer Institute takes a significant step in organoid research

Netherlands Cancer Institute takes a significant step in organoid research

The genetic profile of tumor organoids made of metastases of colorectal cancer corresponds with the tumor tissue. That is the conclusion of a research group led by Emile Voest, professor of medical oncology and director of the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI). The results of the study were published in PNAS on October 12, 2015. This is an important step towards predicting the potential effect of a cancer treatment on an individual level.

To determine whether tumor organoids could be used to predict if a certain treatment will work, it should first be determined if the genetic profile of these mini organs corresponds with that of the tumour. Voest and his colleagues examined this in a model for metastatic colorectal cancer.

The researchers tried to cultivate organoids from biopsies of fourteen patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. They succeeded in more than seventy percent of the patients. Next the genetic profile of the organoids was compared with that of the tumors. It turned out that the genetics agree on all essential points. Ninety percent of the mutations were shared between the organoids and the tumor tissue of the same patients. Of the mutations that were exclusively found in the tissue or organoid, none were important for tumor progression or the targeting of medication.

Therefore, the results of the study support the researchers to proceed with the project. As a follow-up, the TUMOROID study was initiated. This study aims to examine whether the metastases of a patient respond the same to a specific treatment as the tumor organoids of that same person. Voest predicts an important application of this study: "With the help of the tumor organoids we hope we can determine in advance which treatment will be most effective for the individual patient.”

Sources: Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, PNAS

MedZine writes about notable science twice a week.

Read more testimonials by health care professionals and advertisers

Follow us