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UNIGE | Replicating patients’ tumours to test different treatments

03.06.2021
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The critical role of the immune system in the fight against cancer

 

UNIGE Researchers have developed in vitro tumour models that incorporate components of the tumour and elements of the patient’s immune system to test the effectiveness of treatments.

 

Every tumour is different, every patient is different. So how do we know which treatment will work best for the patient and eradicate the cancer? In order to offer a personalised treatment that best suits the case being treated, a team of scientists led by the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, had already developed a spheroidal reproduction of tumours that integrates the tumour cells, but also their microenvironment. However, the immune system had not yet been taken into account, even though it can either be strengthened or destroyed by the treatment given to the patient. Today, the Geneva team has succeeded in integrating two types of immune cells that come directly from the patient into the spheroidal structure, making it possible to test the various possible treatments and select the most effective. These results can be read in the journal Cancers.

The immune system is the primary fighter against tumours and it reacts differently depending on the treatment prescribed to the patient: its effectiveness can either be increased or decreased. The Geneva team, in collaboration with the universities of Lausanne & Amsterdam, has succeeded in integrating two types of immune cells into its spheroidal structure: macrophages and T lymphocytes.

 

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