New animal models can revolutionize the study of cancer

October 9, 2012
Animal facilites of the IDIBELL

Some animal models developed by researchers at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Bellvitge (IDIBELL) and the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) has served to validate the effectiveness of a new drug against ovarian cancer resistant to cisplatin. The multidisciplinary work, done in collaboration with the biopharmaceutical company Pharmamar, was published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

The human tumor tissue is implanted in the same nude mouse organ from which it came. This type of implant, called orthotopic, can reproduce the histological, genetic and epigenetic human tumors and the patterns of tumor spread, which is not achieved with other methods of implementation. Furthermore, these tumor models will be keys to the development of the so-called personalized medicine against various cancers. Besides ovarian tumors, researchers are experienced in orthotopic implantation of other tumors such as colon, pancreas, breast, endometrial or testicle, and and neurofibromatosis. Researchers are currently developing models of lung, head and neck tumors.

The technique has shown the effectiveness of lurbinectedin (PM01183), a drug recently approved by the (FDA) as "orphan drug" against ovarian cancer. This disease is the fifth leading cause of death among women. The survival rate is very low because it is often diagnosed at an advanced stage and appear resistances to chemotherapy with cisplatin. So, it is necessary to find alternative treatments.

The lurbinectedin is a marine-derived drug developed by the pharmaceutical company Pharmamar, from the Zeltia group, which has been shown effective against resistant to cisplatin in several studies. One of the most compelling studies in preclinical level is the work published now in . The article confirms that orthotopic implants in are useful not only to deepen the knowledge of tumors, but also to collaborate with the pharmaceutical industry in the process of developing new drugs to treat cancer. Lurbinectedin has recently demonstrated its efficacy in a Phase II study in treatment-resistant ovarian cancer.

The coordinator of the study and researcher at the IDIBELL and ICO, Alberto Villanueva, highlights the importance of the models developed in his laboratory that "allow obtaining tumors grown in mice that reproduce the immunohistochemical, genetic and epigenetic properties of the human tumors and its response to chemotherapy with cisplatin, that is the base of the treatment against ovarian cancer."

Explore further: Researchers investigate drug resistant ovarian cancer to improve clinical treatment

More information: Lurbinectedin (PM01183), a New DNA Minor Groove Binder, Inhibits Growth of Orthotopic Primary Graft of Cisplatin-Resistant Epithelial Ovarian Cancer. Vidal A, Munoz C, Guillen MJ, Moreto J, Sara P, Martinez-Iniesta M, Figueras A, Padulles L, Garcia-Rodriguez FJ, Berdiel-Acer M, Pujana MA, Salazar R, Gil-Martin M, Marti L, Ponce J, Mollevi DG, Capella G, Condom E, Vinals F, Huertas D, Cuevas C, Esteller M, Aviles P, Villanueva A. Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Aug 15. [Epub ahead of print]

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Ancient stress response provides clues to cancer resistance

April 25, 2017

Cancer is often able to craftily outwit the best techniques modern medicine has developed to treat it. In an attempt to understand and combat cancer's vaunted prowess, an unusual collaboration between physicists and a leading ...

Studying a catalyst for blood cancers

April 25, 2017

Imagine this scenario on a highway: A driver starts to make a sudden lane change but realizes his mistake and quickly veers back, too late. Other motorists have already reacted and, in some cases, collide. Meanwhile, the ...

Savior of T-cells may be enemy of liver immune cells

April 24, 2017

Researchers at Houston Methodist demonstrated that a surface protein called OX40, responsible for keeping one type of immune system cell alive, can trigger the death of liver immune cells, in turn starting a chain reaction ...

0 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.