EIPM Joins International Cancer Consortium

Weill Cornell Medicine’s Englander Institute Joins International Cancer Research Consortium

The Human Cancer Models Initiative Will Broadly Disseminate Tumor-Derived Models

Weill Cornell Medicine’s Englander Institute for Precision Medicine (EIPM) recently joined the Human Cancer Models Initiative (HCMI) and will become one of four Cancer Model Development Centers (CMDCs) in the United States. EIPM is participating in this project through a subcontract with Leidos Biomedical Research, which operates the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research for the National Cancer Institute.

The HCMI is a collaborative international consortium that is generating novel, next-generation, tumor-derived models annotated with genomic and clinical data. HCMI-developed models and related data are available as a community resource, accessible to scientists from academic, industry, for-profit and/or non-profit organizations world-wide. The National Cancer Institute is contributing to the initiative by supporting four CMDCs that are managed by the Frederick National Laboratory. Further details about this initiative and available resources can be found at https://ocg.cancer.gov/programs/HCMI.

This project is 100% funded with Federal Funds.

“We are honored to join the Human Cancer Models Initiative and are excited to share the significant knowledge and expertise we have developed in creating next-generation, tumor-derived culture models, especially tumor organoids,” said EIPM Director Olivier Elemento, Ph.D. (right). “The HCMI has an important role to play in widely disseminating information about these advanced genomic-based tools to researchers across the country and around the world to stimulate cancer research and create breakthroughs that benefit patients.”

THE EIPM is a recognized leader in creating and exploring next-generation, tumor-derived culture models called organoids, which are miniature three-dimensional cellular structures grown by culture in the lab. Organoids can be made to resemble organs or tissue such as gut, kidney pancreas, liver, breast, prostate, and even brain tissue, all complete with accurate micro-anatomy. While this work has mostly benefited cancer research, organoids hold the potential to benefit and enhance research on neurodegenerative disease, metabolic diseases like diabetes, and other diseases and conditions.

“Due to their amazing ability to self-organize into tissue-structures, we have developed a way to grow organoid structures that mimic actual patients’ tumors and allow our researchers to study how different cancers develop, change and might respond to various drug therapies,” said Dr. Laura Martin, EIPM’s Ex Vivo Models Director. “It’s a great honor to be asked to join the HCMI and we are committed to doing our part to share the knowledge we’ve developed with other researchers in the hope of accelerating science and speeding cures to patients.”

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EIPM organoid lab team, from left: M. Laura Martin, Cynthia Cheung, Adriana Irizarri, Danielle Bulaon, and Anastasia Tsomides.