Unique 3D Tumor Structure Tops SPT Week in Review

Top news of the week from Specialty Pharmacy Times.

‘Investigators at the Université de Genève, Switzerland, have devised a cell co-culture platform that reproduces a patient’s tumor structure in 3D, to be used to test several drugs or combinations at different stages in the tumor’s development, according to a press release through the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Scientists now need only 5 days to identify which treatment will be the most effective for a particular case. The new platform opens the door to personalized medicine, according to the release.

Investigators from the University of California San Diego of Medicine are using zebrafish and human cells to determine how to grow blood stem cells in a laboratory dish in order to meet the growing demand for blood stem cells for patients with leukemia or lymphoma. They discovered that when 1 Wnt signal molecule—a major driver of embryonic and blood cell development—is received by a blood stem cell, 3 molecules are involved, including the epidermal growth factor receptor, an important component of cancer treatment. By using zebrafish, investigators have unraveled how these molecules are received so as to mimic the process in a laboratory setting, thereby generating human blood stem cells, according to the study.

As the mortality rate for cancer decreases, the rate for heart disease is steadily growing, as reported by CNN. Researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics examined death certificates in the United States from 1999 to 2017 for adults aged 45 to 64 years. They found that cancer deaths dropped 19% within those years, and that the deaths due to heart disease dropped 22% between 1999 and 2011 but increased a total of 4% by 2017, according to CNN.