Hadassah’s ‘organoid’ bank is poised to revolutionize medicine


According to Professor Eyal Mishani, the journey towards opening Israel’s first ‘organoid’ bank began like many others at the Hadassah Medical Center. It started with a doctor standing at a patient’s bedside and going to the lab to identify the problem and find a solution.

Mr. Mishani is Executive Director of Hadassah Medical Institute’s Research Fund and Head of Research, Development and Innovation.

“At Hadassah, we have a strong strength in translational medicine research,” said Mishani, referring to the field where scientific discoveries made in the lab translate into new treatments and approaches to medicine. Mentioned.

Dr. Miriam Grünewald, Director of the Hadassah Organoid Center. (Credit: David Zeb Harris)

“Briefly, an organoid is a laboratory-grown tissue that mimics the characteristics and functions of tissue in the body,” says Dr. Miriam Grünewald, director of the Organoid Center at the Wall Institute for Translational Medicine in Hadassah. said.

Organoids are made by taking fresh biopsies from various tissues in a patient’s body, treating them with a special gel, and allowing them to grow. This allows cells to proliferate, connect to each other, and self-assemble into three-dimensional structures.

A few years ago, Mishani and his team began reading the scientific literature on this technology and realized its endless possibilities. They began efforts to bring organoid technology to Hadassah, which was developed in 2009 by Dr. Hans Klevers and his team at the Habrecht Institute in the Netherlands.

Prof. Mishani has noticed more labs working on this technology around the world and believes that creating a platform that can be used by the entire scientific community could take Hadassah’s potential to the next level. I believed

“At that point, we approached Hadassah, the founder and owner of the American Women’s Zionist Organization,” he recalled. “Without their vision and support, we would not have been able to get to where we are today. You can come with a dream and find the support to make it happen.”

This biobank will be established in 2021. Since then, his team at the Hadassah Organoid Center has collected samples from as many patients as possible and grown them into organoids. So far he has had over 135 samples taken. If possible, sample both healthy and diseased tissue.

“Each organoid in the biobank will be collected and archived through a program that also records individual patient medical histories,” Grünewald said. “That way, if we were to investigate a particular condition, such as colorectal cancer with a particular mutation, we could use relevant samples from our bank to grow the organoids and start experimenting.” 2009 The technology has come a long way since then, and we can grow organoids from almost any tissue in the human body.”

Hadassah’s biobank already serves several purposes.

Today, the main function of the Hadassah Biobank Center is to provide a platform for general research to doctors, academics and pharmaceutical companies in Israel and around the world.

“We believe our biobank will become an essential tool for the industry, especially as we develop and increase the number of samples,” Mishani said.

Additionally, in certain situations, Hadassah doctors can already use the Organoid Center to try treatments on specific patients and see how they respond before dosing.

“This is already happening in some cancer patients and people with cystic fibrosis,” Grünewald said. “There is no doubt that the platform we are developing will save valuable time for patients who cannot afford the traditional trial-and-error approach.”

In the future, it is expected that this possibility will be expanded as much as possible and that new frontiers of personalized medicine will be opened up.

“Using organoids, physicians can explore the effects of unlimited drugs on patients and identify drug combinations that help individual patients,” Mishani said. “This could take personalized medicine to a whole new level.”

Clinical trials will be dramatically impacted by organoids for the same reason, researchers say.

“With organoids, I think it will greatly reduce the need to use animals as preclinical models,” Grünewald said.

“The FDA recognizes the potential of organoids in drug development and testing and encourages the use of these models in preclinical studies to increase the predictability and efficiency of drug development,” she added. rice field.

The dream is for technology to go beyond all of this.

“Organoids can be said to be the beginning of the development of extracorporeal organs for transplantation,” said Professor Yoram Weiss, executive director of Hadassah Medical Institute. “We’re not quite there yet and there’s still a lot of work to do, but I would say that in five or 10 years, we might be able to transplant patient-derived organoids to restore function. There are enough ‘of diseased organs. It may sound like science fiction now, but it’s not. That future may be closer than we think. ”

This article was written in collaboration with Hadassah



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