BioInsights - Patient-derived organoids: an emerging platform to de-risk immunotherapy development
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Patient-derived organoids: an emerging platform to de-risk immunotherapy development

Patient-derived organoids: an emerging platform to de-risk immunotherapy development

Recent advances in cancer immunotherapy have had a positive impact on the life expectancy of patients with liquid cancers. With new treatment strategies and druggable targets being identified at an increasing pace, the number of patients eligible for cancer immunotherapy is expected to expand rapidly. However, promising therapeutic developments face hurdles in translating preclinical findings into therapy since conventional 2D cancer models hold low clinical predictive value.

Patient-derived organoids (PDOs) generated from healthy and malignant tissues recapitulate complex characteristics of the original parental tissue, including molecular heterogeneity, morphological and functional traits. Importantly, they preserve tumour-specific antigens that are conventionally lost in standard in vitro models, therefore representing an excellent system to investigate target engagement, mechanisms of action, and to stratify a patient population based on tumour molecular features.

This webinar will spotlight the development of autologous PDO and immune cell biobanks relevant for testing immune-oncology agents and co-culture assays, to evaluate different immuno-oncology products such as CAR-T cells, T cell engagers, and checkpoint inhibitors.

  • Learn about the benefits of patient-derived organoids compared to standard in vitro models
  • Find out about established co-culture systems and under development projects
  • Learn how PDOs are currently being used to evaluate the efficacy of CAR-T cells, T cell engagers and checkpoint inhibitors
  • Understand PDO applications across the drug development pipeline, from target engagement/validation to mechanism of action and lead selection studies
  • Discover how organoids are helping to replace, refine, and reduce animal use in immunotherapy development

Sylvia F. Boj

Chief Scientific Officer, HUB Organoids

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 HUB Organoids (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.

Andrea Bisso, PhD

Associate Director of Pharmacology & Pre-Clinical Development, Gadeta BV

Andrea Bisso is the Associate Director of Pharmacology & Pre-Clinical Development at Gadeta BV. There he oversees the investigation of the efficacy, safety and mechanism of action of the new proprietary candidate cellular products, by leading the Preclinical Pharmacology team and managing the collaborations with external partners and CROs. He joined Gadeta at the end of 2020, after a nearly 15 years career in academia, during which he gained extensive experience in the cellular and molecular mechanisms at the basis of cancer. Working as Scientist at the European Institute of Oncology (Milan, Italy), he contributed to the understanding of the role of the MYC, WNT and Hippo pathways in tumorigenesis, by performing functional genetic screenings and by developing new preclinical mouse models of B-cell lymphomas and liver tumors. Dr Bisso received his PhD in Molecular Medicine from the University of Trieste (Italy), focusing on the role of microRNAs regulating the activity of the p53 pathway and on novel potential therapeutic approaches to block the oncogenic functions of p53 tumor-associated mutants. He holds a patent covering the application of peptides and aptamers as specific modulators of mutant p53.


Sylvia F. Boj
Sylvia F. Boj
Chief Scientific Officer, HUB Organoids
Andrea Bisso
Andrea Bisso
Associate Director of Pharmacology & Pre-Clinical Development, Gadeta BV

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