In an effort to improve treatment effectiveness, researchers at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in China recently explored if cancer organoids could help predict treatment responses for peritoneal mesothelioma patients.

Organoids are cancer tumors grown in a protected lab environment using tissue samples taken from a patient.

Researchers have studied organoids for various cancers, including breast, lung, and liver cancers, but they had not been explored for mesothelioma — until now.

The study found that organoids for mesothelioma could help:

  1. Predict the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs
  2. Increase the success rate of recommended treatments
  3. Offer a model for more personalized cancer treatment
  4. Prevent patients from getting unnecessary or ineffective treatments

Learn more about cancer organoids and how they may offer new research opportunities for mesothelioma treatment.

What Are Organoids in Cancer Research?

Organoids are tumors grown outside of the body that match the qualities of the patient’s tumor cells. Once an organoid is developed, researchers can apply various treatments or drugs to see how the cells will respond.

This is an especially helpful model to use for mesothelioma because each patient is different when it comes to their overall health, mesothelioma cell type, and cancer spread.

How the Organoids for Mesothelioma Study Worked

By taking individual tissue samples, doctors were able to recreate the unique tumors of 7 peritoneal mesothelioma patients diagnosed with the epithelioid cell type.

This process was completed over two years and involved:

  1. Taking mesothelioma cancer cells directly from the patient
  2. Injecting a mouse with the cells and letting a tumor grow there
  3. Removing and processing the tumor to ensure the genetic profile matched each patient’s tissue samples

Once the tumors were successfully recreated, researchers treated the organoids with chemotherapy drugs for peritoneal mesothelioma and analyzed how the cancer cells responded to treatment.

Use our Free Doctor Match to get help finding the best mesothelioma specialists who are studying new approaches to treatment like this one.

More Effective Mesothelioma Treatment, Less Trial-and-Error

Ultimately, the study found that peritoneal mesothelioma organoids may be useful in predicting patient response to treatment.

This is groundbreaking because there is currently no one-size-fits-all treatment approach for mesothelioma, often leading to a trial-and-error process to find what works.

Even patients with similar cell types and tumor sizes may not respond to treatment the same way. For example, patients in this study had different responses to the same chemotherapy treatment even though they all had epithelioid mesothelioma.

By applying treatments to the mesothelioma organoids themselves, doctors could test how the patient would respond to certain treatment options — without risking their health or causing any side effects.

Some patients had their cancer stop progressing and extended their life expectancy once a more effective chemotherapy regimen was determined based on the results of the organoid drug screening.

The cancer organoid study results could also offer practical strategies for future mesothelioma research and clinical trials.

Paving the Way for More Personalized Care

Designing a method to grow human peritoneal mesothelioma organoids offers a valuable tool for the future of mesothelioma research and hopefully even more personalized treatment options for patients.

At Mesothelioma Hope, personalized care is at the heart of everything we do. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we are here to walk alongside you.

We can help connect you with trusted mesothelioma specialists, financial assistance, and supportive care. Get started with our Free Doctor Match service or call (866) 608-8933 now.

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Laura WrightWritten by:

Lead Editor

Laura Wright is a journalist and content strategist with more than 15 years of professional experience. She attended college at the University of Florida, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008. Her writing has been featured in The Gainesville Sun and other regional publications throughout Florida.

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  1. Fang, X., Shu, L., Chen, T., et al. (2024, January 10). Organoids derived from patients provide a new opportunity for research and individualized treatment of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. Molecular Cancer. Retrieved February 14, 2024, from

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