EIPM’s Organoid Platform

 

EIPM TUMOR ORGANOID PLATFORM:

The EIPM develops organoids, which are patient-derived models that are used to study disease progression and develop effective drug treatments. These miniature three-dimensional cellular structures are grown from a patient’s tumor sample and are highly useful in studying how different cancers develop, change, and might respond to various treatment options.

For patients with advanced disease, organoids can serve as an ideal platform to enable discoveries of novel therapeutic approaches that can be assessed in clinical trials and provide personalized therapeutic options for individual patients where standard clinical options have been exhausted.

The EIPM has been at the forefront of developing organoid technology that will advance science and speed new treatments to patients.

 

 

 

EIPM’s Ex Vivo Models Director Dr. Laura Martin discusses her Lab’s work with organoids:

Is the organoid research being conducted at the EIPM unique?

Our platform is unique because we have advanced the technology to derive organoids from many different types of cancer, and only a few institutions across the country and around the world have done this.

How are they developed?

A clinician sends a tiny biological sample from a cancer patient to our lab, where technicians grow dozens or even hundreds of exact organoid replicas of the tumor. Those organoids are then sent to our high throughput drug screening platform (see below) where they can be tested against a very wide range of drug compounds in various combinations and concentrations until a precise treatment is identified and sent back to the patient for treatment.

When will this technology benefit patients?

We are just focused on cancer research for now. But in 3-5 years I’m sure patients will directly benefit from our development of this technology, and organoids will be one of the first steps in a novel process to treat cancer patients.

How do organoids advance research?

A major goal of the EIPM organoid research platform is to advance the science behind this rapidly emerging field. We support translational research to better understand each patient’s tumor and collaborate with scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine and beyond to facilitate pre-clinical research with outside partners like the National Cancer Institute’s Human Cancer Models Initiative, The New York Genome Center, The New York Stem Cell Foundation, and corporate partners. To date, we have 175+ organoids in our tumor biobank, with lines for more than 15 types of cancer including colorectal, lung, prostate, breast, and non-tumor organoids. 

Can organoids be helpful in studying diseases beyond cancer?

Right now, we only use organoids that have been specifically derived from cancer patients (like these colorectal tumor organoids). But organoid research technology can be applied to all sorts of diseases like inflammatory diseases of the lung and the intestine that are already being used in clinical settings. 

Does the EIPM collaborate with other academic research organizations to move this field forward?

The EIPM is a member of the Human Cancer Models Initiative (HCMI), an international consortium that is generating novel, next-generation, tumor-derived culture models annotated with genomic, clinical, and biospecimen data. HCMI has over 200 organoid models that are available to the research community and whose goal is to generate and annotate up to 1000 next-generation cancer models derived from patient tissues. View the latest HCMI factsheet here.

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The EIPM organoid lab was highlighted in a new departmental video, we hope you enjoy watching it!

 

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RESOURCES FOR RESEARCH

The team develops organoids from metastatic and primary anatomic sites, obtained through biopsies, surgical resections, and rapid autopsy procedures.  A critical step in successfully generating patient-derived organoids is validating their biological similarity with the primary tumor.

To this end, we characterize each patient-derived organoid with whole-genome sequencing, RNA seq, and histopathology. Validation of these models is achieved by comparison of DNA mutational profiles (ploidy, concordance, correlation of variant allele frequencies, mutational signatures) as well as RNA sequencing data through cluster analysis of the original tumor in comparison with the organoids.

 

To learn more and to collaborate please contact:

 

 HIGH THROUGHPUT DRUG SCREENING & TUMOR ORGANOIDS

Once patient tumor organoids have been developed and validated, our high throughput drug screening (HTDS) platform, also called ‘the robot,’ can be used to test a very wide range of compounds with the goal of identifying optimal treatment for each individual patient.  In the coming years the EIPM will test the efficacy of thousands of compounds upon every patient’s tumor to identify this optimal treatment.

By combing this data with the comprehensive genomic platform at the center of the EIPM, this new automated system will enable us to identify optimal treatments for patients with advanced cancer and develop treatments based upon the specialized makeup of an individual’s cancer, rather than a standardized one-size-fits-all approach based upon the location of the disease. In the future, this technology will move beyond cancer to advance science and speed personalized treatments for patients with metabolic and cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, etc.

To learn more and collaborate please contact:

Ms. Ilkay Us, M.S., Lead Automation Specialist: ilu2001@med.cornell.edu

 

Preclinical Pharmacy

In coordination with the Tumor Organoid Platform and High Throughput Drug screening platform, the EIPM’s Preclinical Pharmacy provides affordable access to a range of molecules and compounds essential to supporting translational research. The collection is available on a fee-for-service basis to cancer center members and EIPM collaborators. Learn more about our preclinical pharmacy.

Enrique Podaza
Enrique Podaza
Postdoctoral Associate in Physiology and Biophysics
Enrique Podaza has a Ph.D. in Medical Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires. He is a Biologist with a solid background in tumor immunology...
Florencia Madorsky Rowdo
Florencia Madorsky Rowdo
Postdoctoral Associate
Florencia Madorsky Rowdo, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine. She is a cellular and molecular...
Jared Capuano
Jared Capuano
Research Technician I
Jared Capuano currently works on the organoid platform at the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine as a research technician. The organoid...
Jenna Moyer
Jenna Moyer
Lab Supervisor - Ex vivo models
Jenna Moyer is Lab Supervisor – Ex vivo models at EIPM at Weill Cornell Medicine. She processes tumor biopsies to grow mini tumor models for...
M. Laura Martin
M. Laura Martin
Ex Vivo Models Director
M. Laura Martin, Ph.D., leads efforts in the utilization of patient-derived models of cancer, studying the functional impact of genetic and...
Marvel Tranquille
Marvel Tranquille
Research Technician II
Marvel Tranquille, M.S., holds a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in Physiology and Biophysics. He currently works on...
Sarah Ackermann
Sarah Ackermann
Research Specialist
Sarah Ackermann is a Research Specialist at the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine who just completed her Master’s in Biology thesis work...
Thomas Caiazza
Thomas Caiazza
Organoid technician
Thomas Caiazza is a research technician in the EIPM organoid lab. He’s part of a team of technicians that process tissue into organoids and...

Recent publications by EIPM team members advancing organoid research:

  • “Extracellular Matrix in Synthetic Hydrogel-Based Prostate Cancer Organoids Regulate Therapeutic Response to EZH2 and DRD2 Inhibitors,” Advanced Materials, January, 2022.
  • “Reshaping of the androgen-driven chromatin landscape in normal prostate cells by early cancer drivers and effect on therapeutic sensitivity,” Cell Reports, September, 2021.
  • “Metastasis and Immune Evasion from Extracellular cGAMP Hydrolysis,” Cancer Discovery, May, 2021.
  • “Patient-derived xenografts and organoids model therapy response in prostate cancer,” Nature Communications, February, 2021.
  • “Identification of SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors using lung and colonic organoids,” Nature, January, 2021.
  • “Role of specialized composition of SWI/SNF complexes in prostate cancer lineage plasticity,” Nature Communications, November, 2020.
  • “Adaptable haemodynamic endothelial cells for organogenesis and tumorigenesis,” Nature, September, 2020.