New research demonstrates the value of patient-specific cancer models in studies of metastasis and drug resistance.

Cellaria scientists to present latest studies at AACR 2021

At the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR 2021: April 10 –
15 th and May 17 -21 st ) scientists from Cellaria Inc. (Wakefield, MA, USA), a scientific innovator
with breakthrough tools for cancer research, will present new work demonstrating the value of
patient-specific cancer models in studies of metastasis, and the associated development of
drug resistance. Cellaria offers models that accurately represent a diverse range of disease
types, progression grades and genetic profiles. These enable researchers to study disease
pathways and develop patient-specific therapies more effectively. The new research
demonstrates the utility of patient-specific ovarian, breast and pancreatic cancer models in
studies of the tumor microenvironment and the metastatic niche, illustrating their potential to
improve the likelihood of success in clinical trials.

Cellaria’s poster is entitled ‘Modeling the metastatic niche interactions between patient tumor
and mesenchymal cells to identify drivers of chemotherapy drug resistance’. The process of
metastasis involves cancer cells moving to and thriving in a foreign microenvironment. The
Metastatic niche facilitates this process by performing functions such as anchorage,
proliferation, and expansion. In this process, mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) sourced from
adipose tissue were co-cultured in three-dimensional tumor spheroids to simulate the
microenvironment of the metastatic niche. The resulting models were then tested with a broad
range chemotherapeutic agent. The impact of different MSC seeding ratios on the resulting
response curve was investigated.

The results show that chemotherapeutic response is dependent on MSC seeding ratio, but that
even at low levels MSCs have an impact on the drug response of metastatic tumor spheroids.
These effects are observed across the patient profile spectrum, with each cancer type. Though
there is detectable variation, the strength of the effect is not homogeneous. Disease type, MSC
ratio, and drug utilized all influence the observed results. A key conclusion from the work is
that the models provide a reproducible, easily scaled tool for assessing the efficacy of
chemotherapeutic drugs with respect to metastatic tumors, thereby supporting the
development of more effective, precisely targeted therapies.

Find out more about this exciting research by viewing the poster online here