As part of the united effort to make healthcare technology smaller, better and cheaper, scientists in the US have developed an innovative microfluidic assay that can accurately predict how patients with a certain type of blood cancer will respond to an anticancer drug.
Cancer therapy, like the treatment of other medical conditions, often involves a degree of trial and error in the quest to find the best therapeutic option for each patient. What works for one individual will not necessarily work for another. The future of medicine lies in personalised diagnosis and treatments. Bypassing the use of often unsuccessful and sometimes potentially harmful drugs, and instead tailoring the treatment to each individual, will reduce the time and resources required to successfully treat patients.
Currently, chemosensitivity and resistance assays (CSRAs) are used to predict a patient’s response to a specific drug. However, these CSRAs are not always 100% reliable and do not take into account the influence of non-tumour cells in the overall prediction of treatment success. This is an important consideration as anticancer drugs will affect both tumour and non-tumour cells.
‘The validation of an ex vivo drug screen device for personalised medicine is a constant and tough challenge because an accurate standard just does not exist, and using patients’ clinical data for validation is an ultimate route we must go through’, explains Sihong Wang, a biomedical engineering expert at the City University of New York, US, who was not involved in the study.
To read more, check out Thadchajini Retneswaran’s Chemistry World article here or read the full paper online:
MicroC3: an ex vivo microfluidic cis-coculture assay to test chemosensitivity and resistance of patient multiple myeloma cells
Chorom Pak, Natalie S. Callander, Edmond W. K. Young, Benjamin Titz, KyungMann Kim, Sandeep Saha, Kenny Chng, Fotis Asimakopoulos, David J. Beebe and Shigeki Miyamoto
Integr. Biol., 2015