18 November 2022

Bone marrow in a test tube

The first bone marrow organoid opens up new possibilities in the treatment of blood cancer

Svetlana Maslova, Hi-tech+

Scientists from the UK have made progress in creating a functional organoid of the bone marrow, which in many key characteristics corresponds to a real human organ. This achievement will help to better understand the nature of various oncohematological diseases, as well as to find personalized tools for treatment.

Models of organoids of various human organs allow scientists to get a powerful platform for experiments. New drugs can be tested on organoids or the process of cancer development can be simulated. To date, organoids of the brain, intestines, blood vessels and a number of other organs have been created. Now scientists from the UK are presenting the first bone marrow organoid, according to a press release from Oxford University.

Scientists used human stem cells and grew them in a 3D framework, which ensured the maturation of the main types of cells. As a result, it was possible to create an organoid of the bone marrow that resembled a real organ both in terms of the activity and function of the main cells, and in terms of their internal self-organization.

The developed model has already provided new information about the development of certain cell types, the causes and stages of bone marrow fibrosis, as well as the accumulation of scar tissue.

Meanwhile, the main goal of future research is to test new drugs, as well as to develop individual treatment methods. To create personalized therapy, scientists plan to create organoids based on bone marrow cancer cells of a particular patient in order to evaluate their response to drugs.

"Such systems allow us to study cancer directly instead of relying on animal models that do not always reflect the real picture," concluded study author Bethan Psaila.

Article by Khan et al. Human bone marrow organoids for disease modeling, discovery and validation of therapeutic targets in hematological malignancies is published in the journal Cancer Discovery – VM.

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