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.
Biotechnology and health
Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. They could lead to new treatments.
Faults in a certain part of the immune system might be at the root of some long covid cases, new research suggests.
This baby with a head camera helped teach an AI how kids learn language
A neural network trained on the experiences of a single young child managed to learn one of the core components of language: how to match words to the objects they represent.
The first gene-editing treatment: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024
Sickle-cell disease is the first illness to be beaten by CRISPR, but the new treatment comes with an expected price tag of $2 to $3 million.
Weight-loss drugs: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024
Weight-loss drugs like Wegovy and Mounjaro are wildly popular and effective, but their long-term health impacts are still unknown.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.