A team at MUSC and Cincinnati Children’s has developed a sophisticated model for studying the diseased colon that could lead to the development of personalized treatments for colon-related diseases, such as cancer and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The researchers report their findings in the Nov. 2 issue of Cell Stem Cell.
MUSC Hollings Cancer Center researcher Jorge Munera, Ph.D., collaborated with James Wells, Ph.D., and Daniel Kechele, Ph.D., both of Cincinnati Children’s, to grow miniature human colons complete with an immune system in the lab. This model improves upon existing organoids, or mini organs, which have no natural connection to immune components. These novel colon organoids more closely resemble the human colon in both healthy and diseased states.
“We think that this new model is significant because most gastrointestinal diseases involve the immune system and inflammation,” said Munera, an assistant professor in the Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology at MUSC.