Saturday, July 16, 2016

Building More Accurate Cancer Cell Models

Cancer Research


Human Cancer Models Initiative (HCMI) is an international research effort to build more accurate cancer cell models, Jocelyn Kaiser for Science writes: “HCMI will scale up production of these tissue-based human cancer models and share them with the community. NCI will fund the development of 600 models; the Sanger Institute and Cancer Research UK will create 200; and the Hubrecht Institute will produce 200 models as part of a 2- to 3-year pilot project. (The total funding level hasn’t yet been determined.) Although the focus will be largely on common cancers, such as colon and pancreatic, NCI will try to include rare and childhood cancers too, says Louis Staudt, director of NCI’s Center for Cancer Genomics.”
Photo Credit: Hubrecht Institute
Source: Science













An article, by Jocelyn Kaiser, in Science says there is currently an international effort to build more accurate cancer cell models. The chief reason is that the current tumor cells found in research labs do not act like real tumors. And the closer such experimental cells line up with reality, the better to test the efficacy of cancer drugs.

In “Major funders launch international repository of cutting-edge cancer models” (July 11, 2016), Kaiser writes:
For decades, cancer biologists have relied on so-called lines of cancer cells for their experiments. But these cultured cells often bear little resemblance to the tumor they came from. That’s because a piece of tumor tissue dropped into a petri dish doesn’t just start growing. Instead, researchers pull out a few cells in the tumor that happen to replicate well—often cells that don’t need the surrounding normal cells that nurture tumors inside the body. And the genetic makeup of cell lines can change over the years they multiply in labs. No wonder, then, that an experimental drug that kills a colon cancer cell line won’t necessarily help a patient with colon cancer.
Now, several U.S. and European funding agencies want to change that. Today, they’re launching the Human Cancer Models Initiative (HCMI), which aims to give the research community tumor cells that behave more like actual human tumors. The project involves four groups: the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland; Cancer Research UK in London; the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, U.K.; and the nonprofit Hubrecht Organoid Technology in Utrecht, the Netherlands, which was founded by Hans Clevers, a cancer researcher at the Hubrecht Institute.
The project will draw on new insights into how to make the mixture of cells from a human tumor grow outside the body.
Will this international effort lead to anything good and positive in the way of better cancer treatment? I think so, since sharing and pooling data/information tends to increase knowledge. Research by its very nature is both expensive and time-consuming. It takes untold hours to furnish results and the use of modern and advanced technology to obtain good results. It is through such dedicated researchers working together, through human efforts, that many persons today, despite a cancer diagnosis, are faring better than they did even a decade ago. I am one such person and consider myself fortunate. (I went for a routine CT scan yesterday, one of the modern diagnostic tools to determine heath and wellness.) There might be a day when everyone is fortunate; that day can’t come too soon.

*************
For more, go to [Science]