Scientists are continually working on new ways to treat and battle cancer. One of the latest methods that scientists are working on is the use of organoids. The idea behind this project is to grow mini tumors out of patient cancer cells. Doctors can then apply a large number of drugs over a short period to see which drug has the most potent effect.
This method has already seen some applications, and the results are promising. This is especially true for patients who are battling recurring cancers with a low treatment rate. For some of those cancers, scientists are still trying to develop a standard of care. So, the possibility of testing out various combinations of therapies in a short period and coming up with the most effective one sounds too good to be true.
One particular case of a boy with a rare type of bone cancer showed just how much potential this type of treatment plan has. Scientists tested 430 compounds on mini tumors and out of those 430 compounds, eight proved to be effective. The exciting thing is that out of those eight some of them were not even known to be effective for treating this particular type of cancer. This gives hope to patients that do not respond well to chemotherapy.
The team behind this treatment method has developed an automated way to test drug responses in tumor organoids. They take 96 tiny test tubes filled with small tumors, and then they screen hundreds of compounds at the same time, and it takes them only a couple of weeks instead of a few months. With tumors, this can mean the difference between life and death.
All this is useful to people that have recurring metastases as this is an excellent way to test everything without affecting their overall survival rate and the amount of toxicity in their system.