Precision medicine in a dish

Palmieri M, Hirokawa Y, Leong E, Burgess A and Sieber O

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, 1G Royal Parade, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia.

Despite the exponential increase in our knowledge of cancer genetics, our ability to effectively treat tumours based upon their genetics alone remains limited. While determining the sensitivity and resistance of an organism before treatment has been the standard of care in infectious diseases for many years, therapy selection in oncology continues to be initiated largely based on tumour histology. Patient-derived tumour organoid (PDTO) technology holds promise for changing the current treatment paradigm, providing a system amenable to culture and "real-time" drug sensitivity testing in clinical practice to inform decisions in a timeframe that is useful to an individual patient. This presentation will highlight the challenges and lessons learned from our efforts to establish high-throughput clinical and research workflows for PDTOs derived from human colorectal cancers.