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The BIDMC Cancer Center’s Senthil K. Muthuswamy, Ph.D., is paving the way in the field of patient tumor–derived organoids. His team creates these “mini tumors” in the lab directly from patients’ surgically removed cancerous tissue. Compared with growing tissue in an animal model, which can take eight to 10 months, organoids can be grown in a matter of days, and due to their three-dimensional structure, they more closely mimic the matched patient tumors than the traditional two-dimensional cell culture in a petri dish. The result is an incredibly time- and cost-effective way to test a multitude of treatment combinations quickly, which can be the difference between life and death for particularly aggressive cancers.
Check out Muthuswamy’s unique method of growing organoids without stem cells below.