Cancer research implies future for personalized medicine, reduction in animal testing

On August 6th, JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, will publish two new methods for scientists to study and treat tumor growth. The methods introduce a lab-born, human tissue structure with replicated human biochemistry – offering scientists the opportunity to grow, observe, and ultimately learn how to treat biopsied human tumor cells.

The University Hospital of Würzburg scientists behind the experiment have created a new version of the testing structures known as biological vascularized scaffolds (BioVaSc). Their three-dimensional human- are the first of their kind to be built with multiple human cell types. The structures offer two methods for study: a three-dimensional (3D) static system for short term testing that is beneficial for , and a dynamic system that introduces a flow-simulation to simulate actual conditions of the human body. This is especially helpful in long term studies of metastasis, or, the spreading of through the human vascular system.

"Our 3D tumor model is reducing or even replacing animal experiments," said engineer Jenny Reboredo. In their article, Reboredo and her colleagues explained that this based testing system could eliminate the potential for the misinterpretation that often accompanies animal testing. Furthermore, this method solves the shortfalls of typical in-vitro testing, which is limited by the lack of intercellular interactions.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
This video shows tissue engineering of a human 3D in vitro tumor test system. Credit: The Journal of Visualized Experiements

The authors also suggest that their use of derived from is a "very important step towards personalized medicine." With the method the team has created, a lab could in the future take a biopsy of a cancer cell and do tests to find the most effective treatment before ever administering drugs to the human patient.

Further implications of Reboredo and her colleagues' work involve the use of a BioVaSc-type method for studying non-tumorous diseases. "In the long term we want to be able to develop disease models, especially for diseases where no animal models are available," Reboredo said.

When asked why she and her colleagues published in JoVE, Reboredo noted that their models "can be explained and visualized best in a movie [and] to publish in such a media is made possible by JoVE."

Related Stories

New 3-D stem cell culture method published

date Mar 02, 2012

Stem cells are the body's mechanics, repairing damaged tissues and organs. Because these cells are able to grow into any type of cell in the body, scientists believe they hold the key to groundbreaking new ...

Efficient model for generating human iPSCs developed

date Aug 01, 2013

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report a simple, easily reproducible RNA-based method of generating human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in the August 1 edition ...

Recommended for you

Spicy treatment the answer to aggressive cancer?

date Jul 03, 2015

It has been treasured by food lovers for thousands of years for its rich golden colour, peppery flavour and mustardy aroma…and now turmeric may also have a role in fighting cancer.

Cancer survivors who smoke perceive less risk from tobacco

date Jul 02, 2015

Cancer survivors who smoke report fewer negative opinions about smoking, have more barriers to quitting, and are around other smokers more often than survivors who had quit before or after their diagnosis, according to a ...

Melanoma mutation rewires cell metabolism

date Jul 02, 2015

A mutation found in most melanomas rewires cancer cells' metabolism, making them dependent on a ketogenesis enzyme, researchers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have discovered.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.