Utilizing gastric cancer organoids to assess tumor biology and personalize medicine

Miranda Lin, Mei Gao, Michael J. Cavnar, Joseph Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


While the incidence and mortality of gastric cancer (GC) have declined due to public health programs, it remains the third deadliest cancer worldwide. For patients with early disease, innovative endoscopic and complex surgical techniques have improved survival. However, for patients with advanced disease, there are limited treatment options and survival remains poor. Therefore, there is an urgent need for more effective therapies. Since novel therapies require extensive preclinical testing prior to human trials, it is important to identify methods to expedite this process. Traditional cancer models are restricted by the inability to accurately recapitulate the primary human tumor, exorbitant costs, and the requirement for extended periods of development time. An emerging in vitro model to study human disease is the patient-derived organoid, which is a three-dimensional system created from fresh surgical or biopsy tissues of a patient's gastric tumor. Organoids are cultured in plastic wells and suspended in a gelatinous matrix, providing a substrate for extension and growth in all dimensions. They are rapid-growing and highly representative of the molecular landscape, histology, and morphology of the various subtypes of GC. Organoids uniquely model tumor initiation and growth, including steps taken by normal stomach cells to transform into invasive, intestinal-type tumor cells. Additionally, they provide ample material for biobanking and screening novel therapies. Lastly, organoids are a promising model for personalized therapy and warrant further investigation in drug sensitivity studies for GC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-517
Number of pages9
JournalWorld Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • Cancer models
  • Drug screening
  • Drug sensitivity
  • Gastric cancer
  • Organoids
  • Personalized medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology


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