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  1. Ethical Science News

  2. Oct 20, 2021

A Nonanimal Research Model for Studying Breast Cancer

Study in a Sentence: Using tumor cells derived directly from breast cancer patients, researchers developed an organoid model that replicates breast cancer characteristics and can be used to test personalized treatment options.

Healthy for Humans: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer associated with poor prognosis, in part due to a relative lack of available treatment options. Therefore, there is a need to develop reliable preclinical models of TNBC capable of testing treatment effects to improve options for patients.

Redefining Research: By culturing tumor cells from patients with advanced TNBC, researchers developed organoids that matched pathological characteristics of TNBC and, when used to screen for drug response, matched the clinical treatment response of the patient. This organoid model could be a powerful tool to better understand TNBC, predict patient drug response, and identify individual treatment plans.


Pan B, Zhao D, Liu Y, et al. Breast cancer organoids from malignant pleural effusion-derived tumor cells as an individualized medicine platform. In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology – Animal. 2021;57:510-518.

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