Predicting drug resistance in metastatic renal cell carcinoma: Individualizing targeted therapy by xenografting patient tumors into chick embryos



Nicholas Power
AMOSO (a city wide association of London Health Science Centre, St Joseph’s Healthcare, London, Western University and the Clinical Teachers Association at Western)

Project Information

This project is testing a new method of personalizing drug therapy that depends less on static genetic changes and more on dynamic cancer biologic behavior. They developed a “living laboratory” where tumors from individual patients were grown in a “surrogate” model using avian embryos that are high efficiency and very economical when compared to the alternative approach of immunocompromised mice which are expensive.  Within weeks from harvesting the tumor, they perform tests with a panel of available drugs and determine the response rates of each, essentially offering the best initial drug therapy to maximize patient benefit and minimize wasteful efforts on ineffective treatments. This project may not only improve patient care by speeding up decision-making for drug treatment options, but may also save time and money in the process. The impact may provide a watershed moment for personalizing drug therapy and optimizing cancer specific survival outcomes for not only kidney cancer patients, but provide a platform for translation to personalized medicine in many other cancers.  The Project leads have already begun expanding their platform to other genitourinary cancers and plan to test a number of other tumor types, and are in the process of starting an investigator initiated trial using the results of the project.

This project received $237,246 of funding from Innovation Fund for a two-year project in 2013-14 through the Academic Medical Organization of Southwestern Ontario.

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