Patient-derived micro-organospheres enable clinical precision oncology

Cell Stem Cell. 2022 Jun 2;29(6):905-917.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2022.04.006. Epub 2022 May 3.


Patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) and patient-derived organoids (PDOs) have been shown to model clinical response to cancer therapy. However, it remains challenging to use these models to guide timely clinical decisions for cancer patients. Here, we used droplet emulsion microfluidics with temperature control and dead-volume minimization to rapidly generate thousands of micro-organospheres (MOSs) from low-volume patient tissues, which serve as an ideal patient-derived model for clinical precision oncology. A clinical study of recently diagnosed metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) patients using an MOS-based precision oncology pipeline reliably assessed tumor drug response within 14 days, a timeline suitable for guiding treatment decisions in the clinic. Furthermore, MOSs capture original stromal cells and allow T cell penetration, providing a clinical assay for testing immuno-oncology (IO) therapies such as PD-1 blockade, bispecific antibodies, and T cell therapies on patient tumors.

Keywords: adoptive cell therapy; bispecific antibody; colorectal cancer; droplet microfluidics; immune-oncology; lung cancer; micro-organosphere; precision medicine; precision oncology; tumorsphere.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colonic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Organoids / pathology
  • Precision Medicine*