Tel Aviv University Researchers Print First 3-D Brain Tumor, Paving Way For Optimal Treatments

Professor Satchi-Fainaro led a group to create the world's first 3-D printed tumor

JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Researchers at Tel Aviv University achieved a major breakthrough in the battle against cancer by successfully completing the first 3D-bioprinting of an entire active tumor. The researchers succeeded in creating a 3D print of glioblastoma — the deadliest type of brain cancer — from human glioblastoma tissues which contain all components of the malignant tumor.

“The breakthrough will enable much faster prediction of best treatments for patients, accelerate the development of new drugs and discovery of new druggable targets,” the university said in a statement.

The 3D-bioprinted tumor is made from a gel composition that resembles the brain and includes a system of blood tubes resembling blood vessels through which blood cells and drugs can flow, simulating the development of a real tumor and how it responds to treatments.

The team’s findings were published recently in the journal Science Advances.

“Our innovation gives us unprecedented access to 3D tumors that better imitate the clinical scenario, enabling optimal investigation,” said lead researcher Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, the Sagol School of Neuroscience, and the Director of the Morris Kahn 3D-BioPrinting for Cancer Research Initiative at Tel Aviv University.

“Cancer, like all tissues, behaves very differently in a petri dish or test tube than it does in the human body. Approximately 90% of all experimental drugs fail in clinical trials because the success achieved in the lab is not reproduced in patients,” Satchi-Fainaro explained.

In practice, tissue from a patient’s tumor is extracted in surgery and then the team bio-prints a test tumor based on the patient’s MRI. The team has approximately two weeks to test and evaluate the efficacy of different therapies.

According to Satchi-Fainaro, a sample from a patient’s tumor and the surround tissue can allow the team to bioprint 100 tiny tumors on which drugs can be tested in different combinations to determine the optimal treatment for the patient.

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