Building a bank of tumour models for the diversity of childhood kidney cancers
Cancers are diverse, even at the level of a single organ such as the kidney. The kidney has over 30 different cell types which can become involved in tumour development. Different kidney cancer types involve different combinations of cells. Better models of these tumours are needed to reflect their diversity for more informative research. Researchers now describe the first children’s cancer organoid biobank, which includes kidney cancer organoids from over 50 children with different cancer types. These organoids were grown from tumour samples from patients and retained key features of the original tumours. Using high-resolution 3D imaging, researchers demonstrated that an organoid from a kidney cancer type called Wilms' tumour (pictured) contained multiple cell types — epithelial (red), blastemal (green) and stromal cells (white) — that accurately reflected Wilms' tumours in patients. This showcases how the biobank can provide faithful models to investigate tumour biology and test cancer drugs.
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