Targeting Colorectal Disease Through Patient-derived Colon Cancer Organoids

Presented by

Asunción Fernández-Barral, Ph.D.

About this talk

We are happy to welcome Dr. Asunción Fernández-Barral, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomedicas "Alberto Sols", CIBERONC, Madrid, Spain as a guest presenter where she will discuss her research into the regulatory role of vitamin D in relation to human colon stem cells and its implications in colorectal cancer. Abstract: Hans Clevers’ group changed the rules of the game when they isolated and grew in vitro adult stem cells from normal and tumor intestinal tissue. These cells, embedded in an extracellular matrix that allows their growth in 3D, better reflect the genetic background, cellular heterogeneity, structure, and functionality of their tissue of origin. These structures derived from stem cells were called organoids and can be obtained from multiple organs of different species. Organoids constitute an alternative for animal models and 2D culture and are a promising tool for basic research, disease modelling, drug development, personalized treatments, and regenerative medicine. The Instituto de Investigaciones Biomedicas "Alberto Sols", CSIC-UAM has used 3D cell culture technology to create a unique living biobank of organoids from healthy and tumor colon tissue of over 90 colorectal cancer patients. Using this valuable material, we have studied the role of vitamin D in colon homeostasis and its protective action against colon cancer. Additionally, we have also developed a reproducible drug screening system in tumor colon organoids. Speaker Bio: Asunción Fernández-Barral obtained her Biology and Biochemistry degrees at University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain). She received her Ph.D based on studying the antitumoral effects of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) in melanoma at the “Alberto Sols” Biomedical Research Institute (IIB; Madrid, Spain). Asunción has become an expert in 3D-Organoid Technology by isolating and culturing patient-derived organoids (PDO) from healthy and tumour surgical and endoscopic biopsies of colorectal patients.

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