Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, with an estimated 10 million of cancer death in 2020. It is a disease that originates from uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells which can spread to other parts of the body to form new tumours, a process known as metastasis. During the past 250 years, scientists have made several discoveries and progresses against cancer, resulting in an increased survival rate of cancer patients. Nevertheless, there are still many challenges in cancer research that remains to be overcome.
There are different types of cancer treatment and the types of treatment that one receives depends on the type and stages of cancer. Some cancer patients have only one treatment or a combination of treatments, such as surgery with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. One of the main causes of failure in the treatment of cancer is the development of drug resistance by the cancer cells. Therefore, researchers developed alternative therapeutic strategies to chemotherapy, such as immunotherapy and targeted therapy (also known as precision medicine). Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses the patient’s immune system against the cancer cells. Several types of immunotherapies are used to treat cancer. These include immune checkpoint inhibitors, NK/T-cell therapy, monoclonal antibodies, treatment vaccines, and immune system modulators. Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs designed to “target” cancer cells without affecting normal cells. Monoclonal antibodies and small molecules are the most common types of targeted therapy.
Targeted therapies are the focus of drug discovery and development. Although there are significant investments in cancer research for drug discovery and development, the approval rates for new drugs (<5%) remains low. Anti-cancer drugs are typically tested in 2-dimensional (2D) cell culture models. However, 2D cell culture is inadequate to recapitulate the human tumor microenvironment (TME) which is a complex structure made up of cellular and non-cellular components. To improve the rate of success of new drugs, development of preclinical models that better recapitulate patient tumour and microenvironment is paramount. These include in vitro models such as 3D tumour spheroids and patients derived organoids that are better representation of the in vivo environments. In vivo oncology models such as patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model offers the most translational preclinical model and has become a preferred preclinical tool for drug development. PDX provides highly predictive model to evaluate how compounds will perform before entering costly clinical trials which decreasing the cost and time of the pharmaceutical industry.
Basic, clinical, and translational research are three simultaneous components to reach effective cancer therapy. Explore the range of solutions from Atlantis Bioscience for your cancer research: Matrigen Softwell is a hydrogel coated labware that provides tunable substrate stiffness for the study of cancer cell behaviors. An alternative to Matrigel, HumaTein™ a whole ECM isolated from human primary cells enable translational studies and cancer organoid drug screening. Nanovex Biotechnologies provides high quality pro-nanosomes, metallic nanoparticles and PLGA particles for compound encapsulation and biomarker detection. CrownBio offers a comprehensive suite of biological services, including in vitro, in vivo, ex vivo, and in silico services for preclinical drug development. ReachBio Research Labs offers customizable cell-based in vitro assays using optimally sourced and processed primary cells from multiple species (human, NHP, rat, mouse, dog) for assessment of drug candidates in numerous blood diseases and disorders. GloMelt™ Thermal Shift Protein Stability Kit is used to detect protein unfolding or measure thermal stability by performing a thermal shift assay. It can be used for screening small molecule drug candidates and evaluating therapeutic efficacy in cancer models. Atlantis NK activation and expansion kit is a ready to use kit for NK cell therapy. Other cancer related products include growth factors/cytokines (e.g. VEGF, Chemokines, Interleukins, TNF, TGF), immuno-oncology antibodies, cell viability and apoptosis assays (e.g. CF®488A Annexin V and PI Apoptosis Kit, NucView® 488 & MitoView™ 633 Apoptosis Assay Kit).
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Patient-Derived Xenograft (PDX Models)
cellPrism® Drug Development Platform