There is a large unmet need for people with metastatic colorectal cancer when standard therapy fails. Professor Peter Gibbs and his team are addressing this by using new technology to grow Patient-Derived Tumour Organoids (PDTOs) from biopsies of patients’ tumour tissue.
This is part of the FORECAST-1 study, which opened for patient enrolment in September. The first patient joined the study soon after.
Professor Gibbs was the recipient of the 2019 Innovation Fund grant for FORECAST-1. He received a grant of $200,000, which was funded by the community through donations and the Gutsy Challenge.
By growing organoids in the lab, the research team can model the effectiveness of anti-cancer treatments on individual cancers in a petri-dish, better tailoring each patient’s treatment. FORECAST-1 will investigate the effectiveness of this approach for patients when other treatments are no longer effective, but Professor Gibbs hopes that it could be used in the future to determine the best therapeutic approach for people who have not yet been treated.
“One of the dilemmas that we have as more and more new treatments become available is for each individual patient – what is the best treatment for them? In the future I’d hope that we could grow organoids in the laboratories, and use them to test precisely which is the best treatment for each patient,” says Professor Gibbs.
FORECAST-1 is the first step in opening up new treatment opportunities and giving every patient the best possible care.