Building mini-tumours in the lab to study colon cancer
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in men and the second most common cancer in women with over 1.8 million new cases diagnosed each year. There are approximately 700,000 colorectal cancer deaths worldwide every year, making it one of the highest causes of cancer death.
Professor Paul Coffer at University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands, is growing miniature tumours, called organoids, in the lab to understand how colorectal tumours hijack the immune system and use it to resist the effects of treatment and spread around the body. A deep understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind this process will ultimately lead to novel treatment strategies for colorectal cancer.