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February 20, 2021

Giacomo Domenici, researcher at iBET and ITQB-NOVA, was recently awarded with the “Best Abstract” prize at the Online Symposium OrganoidsWith]Out[Borders, organised by the Portuguese Society for Stem Cells and Cellular Therapies (SPCE-TC).

The awarded abstract entitled “Development of ex vivo models for cancer research” describes iBET’s work on the development of cancer cell models using patient-derive tumor tissue, performed at the Advanced Cell Models Lab, headed by Catarina Brito.

Most ex vivo cultures of primary tumors are viable only for short time periods, quickly losing their characteristics. The awarded research allows cultures to maintain tumors characteristics for at least a month. The presented methodology enables studying anticancer drugs requiring longer periods of action or repeated cycles of exposure to exert their activity.

The methodology, which combines a biomaterial-based strategy coupled to agitation-based culture, has been applied successfully to tissues derived from Ewing’s Sarcoma (ES) patient-derived xenografts (PDX) and from breast cancer (BC) patients. By applying the proposed culture method several ES and BC phenotypic characteristics were maintained including as extracellular matrix deposition, ES typical chromosomal translocation and BC Estrogen Receptor (ER) signaling. These very positive results suggest this methodology has the potentially to be extended to other cancer types.

Authors of the awarded abstract: Giacomo Domenici, Luisa Cartaxo, Marta Estrada, Ángel Montero Carcaboso, Saudade André, Catarina Brito.


The series of symposia “With]Out[Borders” was created by the Portuguese Society for Stem Cells and Cell Therapies (SPCE-TC) with the objective to nurture and promote fundamental and translational research on different areas, being, since 2014, one of the official initiatives of the society. The Organoids With]Out[Borders is the fourth on this series of events, focused on the exciting field of organoids.

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