SEngine Uses Patient-Derived Organoids to Help Oncologists Determine the Best Treatment Strategy

Written by Labcyte on August 22, 2018

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Scientists at SEngine are growing tumor organoids and dosing them with more than 120 drug combinations to see which one works best. Along the way, they incorporated Echo® Liquid Handling technology to dramatically accelerate the sample analysis process.

Organoids or “mini organs” are grown from tumor biopsy cells in three-dimensional cultures. They mimic the structure and physiology of the original tumor, making them suitable for evaluating cancer treatments for solid tumors.

SEngine was founded to develop the next generation of cancer care, where treatments are targeted not only to a specific gene, but to an individual. The company’s P.A.R.I.S test is used to identify the vulnerability of each patient’s specific cancer. “With cancer cells, we have no time to try different treatments for every patient,” says Dr. Carla Grandori, founder and CEO of SEngine. As she describes in this short documentary, using the right treatment at the right time is critical for targeting cancer where it is most vulnerable.

Most precision medicine treatments prescribed today are based on genomics data alone. SEngine is the first CLIA-certified company to offer a personalized, functional chemosensitivity test for solid tumors. Test results can indicate not only what drug combinations will most likely be effective but also which ones will likely not be effective.

Dr. Michael Churchill, Lead Scientist at SEngine, says the Echo® Liquid Handler and Access™ Laboratory Workstation from Labcyte have increased throughput from originally preparing one plate at a time to queuing up dozens. "The speed and precision of the Echo has really cemented it's place as the workhorse in our laboratory", he adds. The SEngine team is now designing custom panel for testing multiple dose responses and combination therapies for each cancer sample.

All of this adds up to the potential for making a real difference in patient lives. "With the Echo, we can now at will and in a custom fashion for that particular patient, test multiple drug combinations and really have a chance of recommending a treatment that might lead to a cure,” says Grandori.

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