What are organoids?

Organoids are miniature three-dimensional cellular structures grown by culture in the lab.  Organoids can be made to resemble organs or tissues such as gut, kidney, pancreas, liver, breast, prostate, and even brain tissue, all complete with accurate micro-anatomy.  Due to their amazing ability to self-organize into tissue structures, researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine 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.
Given that no two cancers are alike, and each has its own unique molecular identity, physician-scientists at the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital have been using organoids as models to make more precise diagnoses and develop treatments that are based upon the specialized makeup of an individual’s cancer, instead of using a standardized one-size-fits-all approach based upon the location of the disease.
Research recently published in Cancer Discovery highlights the importance of moving beyond genomics to identify the best therapy options for patients with advanced stage cancer, using models such as organoids and patient-derived xenographs to discover effective treatment strategies.  These models serve as an ideal platform to enable discoveries of novel therapeutic approaches that can be assessed in clinical trials and provides personalized therapeutic options for individual patients where standard clinical options have been exhausted.

Watch this short video that explains how tumor organoids are developed in our labs:

Anastasia Tsomides
Anastasia Tsomides
Research Technician I
Anastasia Tsomides joined us right after graduation from Connecticut College. Her concentration is in cellular and molecular biology and is...
Cynthia Cheung 
Cynthia Cheung 
Research Technician II
Cynthia Cheung is a Research Technician II, and her focus is working with patient-derived tumor models in our organoid lab. She is responsible for...
Loredana Puca
Loredana Puca
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Loredana Puca, Ph.D, is a postdoctoral research fellow in our lab.  Her research focus  is on identifying new biomarkers and therapies to prevent...