23 May 2019

In just five days

The platform quickly finds the best therapy for every cancer patient

Svetlana Maslova, Hi-tech+

The University of Geneva has developed a way to quickly test anti-cancer drugs and their combinations for a specific patient. Testing takes only five days. This will help you choose a truly effective individual therapy and move away from standard schemes.

The technology allows the patient's tumor cells to be cultured in 3D and then drugs to be tested at different stages of tumor development.

At the same time, the structure contains other types of cells, fibroblasts and endothelial cells, which continue to interact with each other as if they were in the human body, the authors explain.

The team tested three drugs at different stages of the development of cultured tumors. The reaction to the same combination turned out to be different, which confirms the impossibility of achieving the same effect for patients with a "universal" treatment regimen.


An organoid of colorectal carcinoma (HCT116 cells) that was treated for 72 hours with a combination of three drugs containing regorafenib, erlotinib and 5-fluorouracil. The cell nuclei correspond to blue, the living cells correspond to green, and the dead cells correspond to red. Drawing from the press release of the University of Geneva Using 3D to test personalized treatments in five days - VM.

For example, a combination of three drugs in low doses turned out to be much more effective than a high dose of one. This is important not only in terms of the speed of the result, because resistance to treatment and side effects often occur if the dosage is too high.

Pre-testing of treatment options can eliminate this problem and improve susceptibility to therapy. And in many cases, to save a life.

"We get results in an average of five days and it's fast enough to counteract cancer with the best weapon," says scientist Patricia Novak—Slivinska. The platform can test various types of tumors, the developers emphasize, at relatively low costs.

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