Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumoroids reveal subgroup-specific drug vulnerabilities

Irene Paassen, Justin Williams, Carla Ríos Arceo, Femke Ringnalda, Kimberly Shea Mercer, Juliane L Buhl, Natalia Moreno, Aniello Federico, Niels E Franke, Mariette Kranendonk, Santhosh A Upadhyaya, Kornelius Kerl, Marc van de Wetering, Hans Clevers, Marcel Kool, Eelco W Hoving, Martine F Roussel, Jarno Drost

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (ATRTs) represent a rare, but aggressive pediatric brain tumor entity. They are genetically defined by alterations in the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex members SMARCB1 or SMARCA4. ATRTs can be further classified in different molecular subgroups based on their epigenetic profiles. Although recent studies suggest that the different subgroups have distinct clinical features, subgroup-specific treatment regimens have not been developed thus far. This is hampered by the lack of pre-clinical in vitro models representative of the different molecular subgroups. Here, we describe the establishment of ATRT tumoroid models from the ATRT-MYC and ATRT-SHH subgroups. We demonstrate that ATRT tumoroids retain subgroup-specific epigenetic and gene expression profiles. High throughput drug screens on our ATRT tumoroids revealed distinct drug sensitivities between and within ATRT-MYC and ATRT-SHH subgroups. Whereas ATRT-MYC universally displayed high sensitivity to multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors, ATRT-SHH showed a more heterogeneous response with a subset showing high sensitivity to NOTCH inhibitors, which corresponded to high expression of NOTCH receptors. Our ATRT tumoroids represent the first pediatric brain tumor organoid model, providing a representative pre-clinical model which enables the development of subgroup-specific therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1661-1671
Number of pages11
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Child
  • Humans
  • Teratoma/drug therapy
  • SMARCB1 Protein/genetics
  • Brain Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Rhabdoid Tumor/drug therapy
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Epigenomics
  • DNA Helicases
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Transcription Factors/genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumoroids reveal subgroup-specific drug vulnerabilities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this