Researchers used cells taken from 71 patients with colon and rectal cancer and grew miniature 3-D tumors that were specific to each person.
What they did: Scientists tested 55 different drugs—some currently available and others experimental—on all the mini-tumors (also known as “organoids”).
The findings: The technique was better at predicting whether a drug would work against a patient’s cancer than simply sequencing a tumor’s DNA. The organoids were 88 percent successful at forecasting whether a patient would respond well to a given drug and were always correct when it came to predicting that a therapy would not be effective, according to results published in the journal Science.
Why it matters: Nicola Valeri, one of the study authors and an investigator at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, says patient-derived organoids can be used to craft ideal individualized treatment plans. He says they would be particularly useful in sorting cancer patients into the right clinical trials, making it more likely that a drug would succeed.
These scientists used CRISPR to put an alligator gene into catfish
The resulting fish appear to be more resistant to disease and could improve commercial production—should they ever be approved.
Next up for CRISPR: Gene editing for the masses?
Last year, Verve Therapeutics started the first human trial of a CRISPR treatment that could benefit most people—a signal that gene editing may be ready to go mainstream.
CRISPR for high cholesterol: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023
New forms of the gene-editing tool could enable treatments for common diseases.
An ALS patient set a record for communicating via a brain implant: 62 words per minute
Brain interfaces could let paralyzed people speak at almost normal speeds.
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