The Vision

Helping liver cancer researchers to better help liver cancer patients.

We aim at obtaining liver cancer organoids directly from patient’s tumour tissue. This will facilitate assaying personalized anti-cancer therapeutic strategies and studying human liver cancer biology. It will also result in the replacement and reduction of animal use in liver cancer (specially PDXs for large drug testing) and, consequently, it will improve animal welfare (refinement), as less animals suffering from liver failure and/or liver cancer would be used.

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The outcomes of this research will have a huge impact on liver cancer patients, liver cancer researchers and also the 3Rs, as it will prompt liver cancer investigators to replace the actual animal models (mainly rodents and dog) for human in vitro models. Meritxell Huch

The aim

One step forward on liver cancer treatment.

Deriving organoid cultures that faithfully recapitulate the histoarchitecture, genetic landscape and transcriptomic profiles of the original patient’s tumour will allow modelling the specific disease of each patient, and thus making reality the promise of finding new therapeutic treatments for cancer personalized medicine.

Furthermore, not only patients, but also liver cancer researchers will extremely benefit from this research. Since organoids mainly contain pure populations of epithelial cancer cells, these might facilitate the discovery of novel cancer biomarkers. This is especially relevant for very highly fibrotic tumours, like CCAs, where the major tumour mass is highly contaminated with non-tumoral cells (fibrotic and some necrotic cells). If so, this will represent a step forward on liver cancer treatment and diagnosis, as it could increase the odds to detect this cancer at earlier (and easy to treat) stages. The outcome of this research could also influence other cancer fields in need of establishing reliable in vitro models (e.g. lung cancer). For an accurate animal number and economic impact calculation see “pathways to impact” attachment.


The Objectives

See the steps to accomplish our goals.

  • Aim 1: Characterize

    in depth 3D-Organoid Cancer Models

  • Aim 2: Validate

    in vivo the Tumorogenicity of the Organoid Models obtained

  • Aim 3: Determine

    whether the models obtained are applicable for drug-screening