Overcoming current challenges in immunotherapy drug development with patient-derived organoids
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Overcoming current challenges in immunotherapy drug development with patient-derived organoids

Wednesday 08:00 PDT / 11:00 EDT / 16:00 BST / 17:00 CEST
Overcoming current challenges in immunotherapy drug development with patient-derived organoids

Live30 webinars are thirty minute presentations designed to update you on the latest innovations, applications and data in a fast yet interactive format.

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy has produced remarkable clinical responses with specific B cell leukaemia or lymphoma subsets. In contrast, the therapeutic efficacy of CAR-T cells in solid tumors and haematological malignancies remains challenging. Similarly, immunotherapies such as checkpoint inhibitors have shown unprecedented results in cancer; however, the response remains limited to a small patient population. Biomarkers remain a critical missing link in identifying appropriate candidates for immunotherapy and tailoring immunotherapy treatment regimens. 

Currently available preclinical in vitro systems like immortalized cell lines often lack tumor and patient-specific antigen expression that would make them valuable models for biomarker discovery. On the other hand, in vivo models such as genetically engineered mouse models (GEMM) or patient-derived xenotransplant (PDX) tend to be immunologically cold and lack a human immune system component. Patient-derived organoids (HUB Organoids®) are derived from adult stem cells, can be rapidly and directly generated from patient tumor biopsies or resections, and maintain the intra- and inter-tumor heterogeneity lost in conventional in vitro models.

Importantly, HUB Organoids preserve patient-specific tumor antigens and are used in the preclinical phase of immunotherapy development to support the identification of new predictive biomarkers. Last but not least, co-cultures of tumor-derived organoids and autologous patients’ immune cells can be established for immuno-oncology drug screening.

Register to discover:

  • How the development of patient-derived tumor organoid biobanks with matched normal counterparts has enabled the discovery and testing of bispecific antibodies and engineered T cells
  • How to set up tumor organoids and autologous or non-autologous T cell co-cultures for immunotherapy screening
  • The development of a high content imaging platform for cell based screening with multiple read-outs
  • Future perspectives on the development of novel tumor organoid biobanks for Immuno-oncology applications
Sylvia F Boj
Sylvia F Boj
Chief Scientific Officer at
Sylvia received her PhD in 2006 at the University of Barcelona, Spain for her work at the Hospital Clinic in the laboratory of Prof. Jorge Ferrer, where she conducted functional genetic analysis to understand the transcriptional role of MODY genes in pancreatic beta cells. With a long term EMBO fellowship, she subsequently joined the Hubrecht Institute (Utrecht, the Netherlands) as a postdoctoral fellow. In the laboratory of Prof. Hans Clevers she first studied the role of TCF7L2 in regulating metabolism. Then, she established human pancreas organoids from tumor resections in collaboration with the Surgery and Pathology departments from the UMC and the laboratory of Prof. D.A. Tuveson.In 2014, she joined HUB as one of the founding scientists and worked as a Group Leader for the cystic fibrosis and pancreatic cancer organoid programs. In 2016, she was appointed Scientific Director at HUB and in her new role she was responsible for leading both the contract service and research programs. Under Sylvia´s leadership the Organoid Technology evolved from a highly innovative basic research tool to a industry leading drug development platform. Since 2020 she holds the position of Chief Scientific Officer.