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Scientific Innovation >> Examples of our Scientific Innovations >> Testing for Tailored Cancer Treatment

Testing for Tailored Cancer Treatment

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Empowering cancer research through innovation

Cancer is a complex and multi-dimensional disease, driven by genetic instability and influenced by a multitude of factors. Each patient is unique, and each tumour ever-changing, yet treatment historically has taken a generalised approach with limited success. Advances by Eurofins are helping researchers to “personalise” cancer treatment and better target care for better outcomes.

The Eurofins Pharma Discovery Services team in the US launched its OncoPanel™ Cell-Based Profiling Service comprising more than 300 genomically-diverse human cancer cell lines across 18 different tissue types. The service screens and profiles anti-cancer compounds in drug discovery, and also predicts potentially beneficial responses.

This means that drug candidates can be assessed in the very early stages of their development. By statistically correlating the genetic profile of each tumour cell with its response to the potential drug, predictive biomarkers can be identified. Drug discovery researchers can now determine which genomic features may predispose patients to successful treatments or identify potential resistance mechanisms that may diminish the effect of treatment.

In addition, Eurofins offers a 3D cell culture service that adds even greater insights by more closely modelling tumour structure. These cells are grown as three-dimensional tumour spheroids and designed to mirror key attributes of human tumours. Innovative, high-content imaging allows the comparison of 2D and 3D cell cultures to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of various drugs in penetrating each tumour.

Truly personalised insight into drug discovery means benefits for patients through the possibility of faster and better results from cancer treatment plans and the potential for health care services to reduce waste through inappropriate or inefficient drugs and therapies.

The science behind

High-content imaging enables simultaneous detection of a potential drug’s ability to inhibit tumour cell growth and other biological responses. Depending on data requirements the services can be performed as short and long-term cell culture, as well as 3D models. Such 3D cultures, as opposed to standard 2D models, are particularly interesting, because they take account of the fact that a tumour in real life is not a flat assembly of cells. The 3D cultures hence mimic morphological and phenotypic characteristics of real tumours. They are grown in a way to ensure that the majority of the cells within the culture exist within spheroid or loose aggregates at the time of treatment.