DISEASE MODELLING IN PATIENT-DERIVED ORGANOIDS

PATIENT-DERIVED BLADDER ORGANOIDS - UROTHELIAL CARCINOMA

The main goal of our group’s bladder cancer research is to develop complex bladder cancer patient-derived organoid-tumoroid 3D (immune- co-) cultures, which can then be used to 1. interrogate and predict patient-response to various types of therapeutics, including immune therapies, and 2. Use unbiased approaches to identify molecular signatures for disease progression as well as molecular targets for precision therapeutics and treatment selection, and finally, 3. To use these patient-derived platforms to understand the molecular mechanisms that drive the pathogenesis of bladder cancer, focusing on alterations in chromatin regulatory genes.

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HEPATITIS B VIRUS AND LIVER ORGANOIDS

We recently developed a primary HBV infected and patient-derived human liver organoid model system (de Crignis et al, 2021). HBV research has been limited by lack of model systems to study HBV infection in vitro. This new model for the first time allows long term culturing and analysis of HBV infected patient livers and provides a cell system to culture virus. Furthermore, it is a platform suitable for antiviral drug screening (de Crignis et al, 2021) and allows us to examine the HBV-induced mechanisms of liver pathogenesis, allowing  identification of early aberrant gene regulatory networks and biomarkers that drive HBV-mediated HCC.

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