Fund for Patient-Specific Cancer

08/11/2023 - 30/09/2024
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One of the key challenges of cancer treatment is that patients appear to respond differently to the same treatment even though they are diagnosed with the same type of cancer, and costly targeted therapy is no exception. This explains why some patients do not respond well to the personalized medicine made specifically to target their cancer-causing genes. Therefore, a better approach to identifying more effective patient-specific treatment is necessary.

The Excellence Center for Stem Cell and Cell Therapy, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital has established a fund to support the identification of effective patient-specific cancer therapy for 30 patients through the new stem cell technology called “organoid culture” with a budget of 130,000 Baht per case. This should help doctors decide the best treatment option for cancer patients, provide them an access to personalized precision medicine, and help them attain better quality of life.

Organoid Culture Technology

Organoid culture technology involves the establishment of organoids through in vitro 3D cancer cell culture. This technology makes it possible to expand a large number of tumor cells within 2-3 weeks while preserving cell heterogeneity. Patient-derived organoids are used to assess patient responses to different drugs at the same time. They can also be used in conjunction with in-depth gene analysis to identify the optimal patient-specific therapy.

The technology is used to determine the efficacy of an expensive targeted therapy before actual use, thus avoiding the use of ineffective treatment that potentially has a huge amount of undesirable side effects on patients. In addition, it provides an alternative treatment for patients who no longer respond to standard treatments. However, with the high cost that is not included in health coverage, many patients do not have access to this type of treatment.

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