Co-Culture Club: Using Organoids to Study How Cancer Grows

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spherically organized cells against a black background

Jonathan Braverman, George Eng, Daiyao Zhang, Ömer Yilmaz

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spherically organized cells against a black background

Jonathan Braverman, George Eng, Daiyao Zhang, Ömer Yilmaz
Koch Institute at MIT

The Yilmaz Lab uses miniature organs, known as organoids, to study the events leading to tumor initiation. Cells are taken from the large intestine and genetically modified to manifest common cancer-associated mutations.

Seeding the engineered organoids (large white spheres) side by side with non-mutated colon organoids (blue/green) allows researchers to track and compare their growth in three dimensions. Changing the growth conditions or introducing therapeutics into the co-cultured system will help the team identify the earliest possible interventions to limit cancer progression.