Israel Researchers Print 3D Brain Tumor Seeking Better Treatment
(Bloomberg) -- Tel Aviv University researchers have used a 3D printer to reproduce a brain tumor, a development they say will enable better, faster treatment for glioblastoma, the aggressive cancer that killed U.S. Senators Edward Kennedy and John McCain.
The director of the university’s Cancer Biology Research Center, Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, said motivation stemmed from the number of cancer treatments that looked highly promising in vitro but failed clinical trials.
“We can stream through printed blood vessels that are part of the printed tumors different drugs and immunotherapies to find the best medicine for each patient,” she said. The university, in a statement, said the development could also accelerate the process of bringing new drugs to market.
Results of the research were published Wednesday in the Science Advances journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dinorah Friedmann-Morvinski, a researcher at the center, called the development “a huge leap” because it “makes it possible to study the interaction of cancer cells with the other cells in the brain, layer, by layer,” she said.
“It creates the dynamic system missing in the petri dish,” she said.
That, in turn, could streamline treatment, said Lakshmi Nayak, director of the Center for Central Nervous System Lymphoma at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
“The investigators have demonstrated with this model that they can predict response to therapeutics in individual patients,” Nayak said in an email. “If it can be truly predictive of response, it would significantly reduce the time taken to screen drugs,” with the caveat that the more dynamic immune system is more challenging to replicate, she added.
The team is now trying to recreate similar 3D tumors for other cancers, primarily pancreatic, breast, lung and melanoma. Because the last three advance into the brain, the same platform designed for glioblastoma can be used to develop and test treatments for them as well, Satchi-Fainaro said.
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