Agents of Change – Helen Abud and Paul McMurrick – Cutting-Edge Medicine

Agents of Change – Helen Abud and Paul McMurrick – Cutting-Edge Medicine


– There currently is no
system where we can test a range of drugs to
find the best treatment for individual patients in the laboratory, so we decided to change that. (upbeat music) Organoids are miniature
versions of a patients tissue that we can grow in the lab. So we have developed a
system where we can grow bowel cancer tissue from
patients directly in the lab. – Bowel cancers an incredibly important disease in Australia, there’s about 54,000 patients
living with bowel cancer and about 5,500 will die each year. So the individualization
of the organoid programme means that instead of subjecting patients to risk through experimentation, we can take their tumour specimens and ascertain whether that
patients going to respond to chemotherapy, which
sort of chemotherapy to individualise their treatment without conferring risk on them. – We have to go through the
rigorous laboratory testing and correlate that with patients outcomes and then drugs have to be developed so it is quite a way in the future. What this means for patients is that they can undergo surgery and while they’re recovering from surgery, we can grow the tissue
and do drug testing. So we really do the
testing of which drug works in the dish and then translate the most effective
treatment to the patient.

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