Mini-tumours from the laboratory should improve cancer therapy

A swiss research team has grown artificial mini bladder tumours in the laboratory, on which drugs can be tested. According to the researchers, this could play an important role in the development of personalised therapies.

A symbolic image of a laboratory session in the inselspital berne

According to a statement from the Inselspital Bern, this is particularly important in the case of bladder cancer. This type of cancer varies greatly from patient to patient. Finding a therapy is therefore difficult. Every tumour reacts differently to a certain treatment. Accordingly, the overall response rate to standard therapies for bladder cancer patients is less than 30 per cent.

Scientists therefore place great hope in personalised therapies that are tailored to the individual patient.

Researchers at Inselspital the University Hospital of Bern – and the University of Bern have taken a step in this direction. The scientists cultivated so-called tumour organoids from individual cancer cells of 41 patients with bladder cancer.

Testing the course of therapy in advance

This is a type of mini-tumour that is very similar to its parent tumour, as the scientists showed in their publication in the renowned scientific journal "Nature Communications". The organoids reacted similarly to cancer drugs as the original tumours in patients taking the same drugs.

According to the scientists, the artificial tumours can help in the future to characterise a patient's cancer more precisely and to test the response to a therapy individually in advance.

Written by: sda

Photos: Inselspital

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