Best functional test model

Molecular biomarker tests describe specific genetic or molecular alterations. These are statistically associated with drug responses recorded by large data collections over long stretches of time. However, molecular testing cannot identify crucial aspects of the dynamic, individual tumor microenvironment. Functional drug sensitivity testbeds provide this spatial and functional heterogeneity, which makes them the better model of choice to gauge the dynamic and complex nature of an individual’s tumor behavior when exposed to approved antineoplastic drugs.

Dealing with heterogeneity

Tumors exhibit inter- and intra-tumoral heterogeneity; different regions or cells within the tumor possess varying molecular profiles, coping and drug responses. Functional drug sensitivity testing using tumoroids captures this heterogeneity in its full complexity, offering a more accurate representation of the tumor’s response to different treatments.

Genetic complexity, tumor evolution through the sequence of therapeutic lines, and the presence of rare or novel alterations can make biomarker identification challenging. Functional drug sensitivity testing bypasses this limitation by directly measuring the tumor’s response to different drugs, thereby providing a more direct assessment of individual drug sensitivity, independent from predefined biomarkers.

Sometimes biomarker tests are not enough

Combination therapies, which involve the use of multiple drugs to target different pathways or overcome drug resistance, are common in metastatic colon cancer treatment. Molecular biomarker tests may struggle to accurately predict the response to combination therapies due to the intricate interactions between different drugs and their targets. Functional drug sensitivity testing, on the other hand, allows for the simultaneous testing of multiple drugs and their combinations. This provides valuable insights into the synergistic or antagonistic effects of different drug combinations on the patient’s tumor, aiding in the selection of the most effective therapies.

Functional drug sensitivity testing using tumoroids is therefore our method of choice. It provides the most complex, the most resembling-in-nature-model over organoids, cell clusters or single cell test models.

Tumoroids deliver more informed treatment decisions

Functional drug sensitivity testing is therefore best performed based on patient-derived tumoroids. This direct testing of patient samples facilitates better clinical translation and enables clinicians to make more informed treatment decisions regarding, for example, 5FU-based combinations, the mainstay of antineoplastic therapies, for which no biomarkers exist. By using functional drug sensitivity testing, personalized treatment plans become complementary to molecular biology, resulting in improved patient outcomes and reduced trial-and-error in selecting the most effective therapies.