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Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center in Madison, USA have developed an in vitro (outside the body) model that mimics a kidney tumour’s blood supply. The researchers used both normal and cancerous tissue from patients to grow three-dimensional blood vessels, and used them to test targeted drugs used to treat renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
The lab was able to create an in vitro model of each patient’s tumour blood vessels to test the effect of anti-angiogenic drugs to normalise the tumour blood vessels. This gives an indication of whether the anti-angiogenic drugs would work in vivo (inside the body) to reduce the size of the tumour. The next goal of the researchers is to see whether the in vitro model predicts patient response.
“Our future goal is not to test every single patient, but to develop a list of markers that will better predict which patient will respond to a treatment,” they said.