Human cancer organoids and other 3D cancer models retain important aspect of the original cancer including cellular functional heterogeneity and patient-specific differential responses to treatments, both a requirement for personalised cancer medicine.

 


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From the patient for the patient

The Centre's ambition is to develop 3D patient-derived models. Organoids, organ-on-chips or explants directly connect the clinic and the patient to cutting-edge discovery research, enabling to reach the grail of personalised medicine. Every patient is unique and so is every cancer. The ability of personalising diagnosis and treatments, experiences and management of the disease offers hope to give equal chances to everyone facing cancer, and to always provide the best care. Organoids are grown from tumour biopsies or surgical resections . They conserve the biological memory of the cancer within their genome, epigenome and proteome. By accessing this information, researchers can understand the precise events that led to this unique cancer to develop, and design a personalised therapies to defeat it, which efficacy they can test first on the organoid before treating the patient. This increase efficiency, chance of success and, most importantly, avoid unnecessary treatments, side effects and anxiety for the patient. 

 

 

 

Simulating the tumour microenvironment

The Centre wish to tackle human cancer types that are challenging to derive and grow as organoids by improving methodologies. To do so, we want to optimise the growth by controlling their extracellular environment, leveraging our strength in chemical biology and material science to generate novel media and 3D polymer combinations. We plan to establish novel co-cultures methods to recapitulate the tumour microenvironment, combining tumour cells with stromal and immune cells. Using our bioengineering and fluid mechanics expertise, we expect to recapitulate tumour environmental features, which is a prerequisite to better understand tumour biology, physical interactions and forces, and to understand treatment responses. Finally, we have the ambition to develop tools and technologies that enhance the experimental scale and throughput of organoids, such as drug screening pipelines, bespoke high-content imaging platforms allowing large-scale 3D imaging, and new mathematical and computational approaches for analysis. Combining these approaches, we will connect discovery research with the clinic, allowing an iterative synergy to design personalised treatment experiences that suits each patient and give them the best chances to overcome the disease.

Qatar Complex Fluids Laboratory with Confocal laser scanning microscope equipment with display of 2D High resolution confocal images of carbonate rocks