Organoids and the future of personalised drug programmes

Organoids and the future of personalised drug programmes

The new world of organoids will enable personalised treatment programmes using combinations of sophisticated and genetically tailored drugs for cancer and other chronic illnesses

Organoids - No more human guinea pigs?

And here’s the great news – Soon, no longer will cancer patients be guinea-pigs. The future is almost here. When you have your biopsy or surgery, a few embryonic stem cells of your tissue will be used to grow an organoid in a culture.

An organoid is a three-dimensional miniature version of your organ and presents real micro-anatomy. Yes, really! It’s mini-me and mini-you!

And what this means is that the drugs your oncologist proposes can be tested on mini-me and mini-you first. Result – more anti-cancer effect and less anti-you effect.

Several Pharmaceutical and Biotech companies have already made significant investments to develop organoids for drug screening programmes with the ultimate aim of developing personalised treatment combinations for your particular cancer. Old fashioned chemotherapy drugs will disappear as protein molecular inhibitors, personalised antibodies and immunotherapy vaccines target to your particular DNA and the genetic mutations present in your cancer. Doctors and oncologists will be replaced by real scientists with organoid test reports and computer models.

There are simply zillions of dollars to be made here. No wonder the Internet Giants and Big Pharma don’t want any mention of natural remedies. Even doctors will soon become obsolete. We have already covered research on how Google Artificial Intelligence was better and more accurate at reading scans than doctors and nurses.

Organoids - the fatal flaw

There's just a slight problem in all this. As skeptic leader Professor David Colquhoun told us on TV, "the problem with most of these new drugs is that they just don't work very well".  Cast your mind back a decade, Herceptin was going to revolutionise breast cancer treatment. While it filled a void for the 20% of women that are HER2 positive, it works only for a couple of years. So then what? Please don't say Perjeta.

And then Professor Charlie Swanton of the same University and college reviewed the 71 drugs launched in the past 12 years and found, on average, they increased survival by 2.1 months. It's probably what Colquhoun was referring to.

So, happy as cancer patients will be to leave behind the dreadful side-effects of old-fashioned chemotherapy, how will creating mini-me and mini-you help cure us, if the drugs give only a month or two of increased survival times? The problem with this whole tunnel that we are rushing down is that it is based on an unproven theory - the Somatic Mutation Theory of cancer. This holds that cancer is caused by mutations. And a mutation is a sequence change, inside the DNA. This theory peaked in the mid-70s, but is being gradually replaced by the Epigenetic theory of cancer, which holds that methylation builds up around the ball of DNA, and this causes, not mutations, but blockages of message production, switching off genes rather than changing their inherent sequence.

Experts such as the head of Nutrition and Cancer at the US Government's own National Cancer Institute, Dr. Young S. Kim, are epigeneticists. And Epigenetic effects can be caused by a build up of Homocysteine, with diet, environmental toxins, pathogens in the gut, hormone changes, and more, responsible. This is often called the "Metabolic Theory of Cancer'. 

Obviously, if the Epigenetic theory is true, it would explain the poor performance of drugs trying to correct non-existent sequence changes in the DNA.

Go to: Paclitaxel, yet again, shown to spread cancer

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