ADVERTISEMENT

Organoïds: 3D Structures Emerging As A Promising Model For Drug Screening In Oncology

In oncology, the development of new efficient treatments is still a challenge, even today. Indeed, besides the complexity to discover good anticancer candidates, the process is still too long and expensive, requiring an average of ten years of work and several million dollars of investment.

Before beginning drug tests on patients included in clinical trials, preclinical assays are needed to assess drug efficiency and toxicity. In the field of oncology, preclinical tests are usually realized on cancer cells (ex vivo model) or on animals (in vivo model). The ex vivo model offers the opportunity to screen a large panel of drug candidates but has the major disadvantage of not being representative of tumor complexity to include the pathophysiology, histology, and genomic mutations of tumors. Animal models are more representative of the tissue environment. However, drug tests frequently fail because of physiological differences with humans.

ADVERTISEMENT

To address these limits, a new technology called organoïds has emerged as a promising model for preclinical drug tests. Organoïds are described as three-dimensional (3D) structures derived from stem cells, which, when they are grown in 3D conditions, can self-organize into architectures that mimic those of a miniaturized organ. Therefore, organoïds are more representative of the physiological organogenesis.

Another advantage of this model is that organoïds can be generated from stem cells isolated from human tissues. Stem cells are immature and unspecialized cells characterized by two properties which distinguish them from other cell types: the ability of self-renewing, producing the same cells and, under some conditions, the capacity to differentiate, producing mature and specialized cells (i.e blood cells, cardiac cells, muscle cells…).

Organoïds can be derived from 3 types of cell lines: (i) physiological stem cells, including embryonic stem cells, neonatal stem cells, and adult stem cells; (ii) induced stem cells, including the induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS), and (iii) cancer stem cells. For drug screening in oncology, organoïds can be derived from cells isolated from patient cancer biopsies. Nowadays, researchers have generated several organotypic structures including kidney, gut, brain, liver, pancreas, stomach, retinal tissue, prostate, and fallopian tubes. Therefore, tumors can be reproduced, giving a disease-specific model for drug tests. In addition, organoïds appear as a promising model to develop a personalized medicine. Indeed, organoïds can be specifically generated from one patient, then anticancer drugs or anticancer candidates can be tested on the generated organoïds offering the possibility of a patient-specific therapy.

Despite the many advantages of the organoïd model, this technology is still not perfect and needs to be improved. The production time remains too long and the cost too high. The automation of organoïd generation could answer this problem.

ADVERTISEMENT

These findings are described in the article entitled Human-cell-derived organoids as a new ex vivo model for drug assays in oncology, recently published in the journal Drug Discovery TodayThis work was conducted by Miryam MebarkiAnnelise Bennaceur, and Laurence Bonhomme-Faivre from the APHP-Hopital Paul Brousse.

Comments

READ THIS NEXT

Understanding Microbial Communities Living on Amphibian Skin

For most people, amphibians (e.g. frogs and salamanders) are not a part of everyday life. They tend to be cryptic […]

What Are The End Products Of Glycolysis?

The end products of glycolysis are: pyruvic acid (pyruvate), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), protons (hydrogen ions (H2+)), and […]

The Power Of Exome: Finding Answers And Ending Doubt 

Few things are more heartbreaking than an undiagnosed condition. It plagues families and healthcare providers alike, leaving both uncertain on […]

Mesocrystal Formation Of Calcite Crystals In Solution

Crystals ─ which are a ubiquitous form of matter in the environment, within living organisms, and throughout technology ─ are […]

Urban Energy Transitions: Why It Is Challenging To Govern Them And How They Govern Themselves 

Transforming urban energy systems is crucial for addressing climate change, as around the half of the world’s population lives in […]

How Hibernators Re-Kindle Their Metabolic Fires

For small mammals, winter at northerly latitudes poses a double threat: cold temperatures require elevated metabolism to maintain a body […]

Premature Aging In Cancer Survivors: Why It Happens And What To Do About It!

Throughout the history of homo sapiens, there has been an intense focus and investment on alleviating the signs and symptoms […]

Science Trends is a popular source of science news and education around the world. We cover everything from solar power cell technology to climate change to cancer research. We help hundreds of thousands of people every month learn about the world we live in and the latest scientific breakthroughs. Want to know more?