1 October

Thesis defense Else Driehuis: Organoids as a tool for fundamental and translational oncology research

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Else Driehuis from the Clevers group successfully defended her thesis “Organoids as a tool for fundamental and translational oncology research” on the 1st of October.

During her PhD, Driehuis used organoids (mini-organs that can be grown in the lab from patient material) to study different tumor types of cancer, including those arising in the oral cavity and pancreas. After determining which stimuli these mini-organs require to grow in a petri-dish, she explored the possibility to use this system to improve patient care. For this, she exposed the organoids to different types of treatments including those currently used in the clinic to treat cancer patients. In her thesis, Driehuis shows that the response of patient-derived organoids to treatment could predict the response of the corresponding patients that received the same therapy in the clinic. This suggests that, in the future, researchers may use such tests to select the best drug for each individual patient. This predictive potential will be validated in an observational clinical trial that is the result of her work as a PhD student.

 

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Else Driehuis will start working at the non-profit company Hubrecht Organoid Technology as a Tech Transfer Scientist. Her in-depth knowledge on organoids will certainly make her a valuable addition to their team.