Image of the Day: Tumor Organoids

Miniature versions of bladder cancers could help physicians identify personalized treatment options for patients.

Apr 11, 2018
The Scientist Staff, The Scientist Staff

Organoids created from the bladder cancers of patients mimic the characteristics of each person’s tumor and may be used for screening interventions.COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY IRVING MEDICAL CENTER

Organoids—miniature versions of organs grown in vitro from tissue-specific progenitor cells—were first produced in 2013. Last week (April 5), researchers reported in Cell that they created organoids from human bladder cancer tumors for the first time. The organoids are unique to each patient’s tumor and could offer a novel approach to studying the molecular mechanisms associated with resistance to cancer-fighting drugs.

“The great advantage of organoids is that they are essentially avatars of a patient's tumor,” study coauthor Michael Shen, a geneticist at Columbia University, says in a press release. “Having these personalized laboratory models, which we can make in a matter of weeks, will let us test multiple different drugs on the tumor and help us bring precision medicine to individuals with bladder cancer.”

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S.H. Lee et al., “Tumor evolution and drug response in patient-derived organoid models of bladder cancer,” Cell, doi:10.1016/j.cell.2018.03.017, 2018.