4 insights on personalizing GI cancer therapy

Using patient-derived three-dimensional 'organoid' models may help personalize therapy for people with GI cancers, according to a BJS review.

Here is what you need to know:

1. Organoids are artificially grown masses of cells or tissues resembling organs. Organoid culture methods have been developed for healthy and diseased tissues from the esophagus, stomach, intestine, pancreas, bile duct and liver.

2. Organoids can be generated with high efficiency and speed from fine-needle aspirations, biopsies or resection specimens. They can serve as a personal cancer model, and using these cell cultures for extensive molecular diagnosis and drug screening could make personalized treatment more standard.

3. Drug sensitivity assays can give a clinically actionable sensitivity profile of a patient's tumor. High-throughput drug screening on organoids, combined with next-generation sequencing, proteomic analysis and other molecular diagnostic methods has the potential to make cancer treatment more effective with fewer side effects.

4. The predictive capability of organoid drug screening has not yet been assessed in prospective clinical trials.

More articles on gastroenterology:

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