Organoid cultures for the analysis of cancer phenotypes

Norman Sachs, Hans Clevers

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Preclinical models of cancer are essential for a basic understanding of cancer biology and its translation into efficient treatment options for affected patients. Cancer cell lines and xenografts derived directly from primary human tumors have proven very valuable in fundamental oncology research and anticancer drug discovery. Both models inherently comprise advantages and caveats that have to be accounted for. We will outline in these and discuss primary patient derived organoids as third preclinical cancer model. We propose that cancer organoids could potentially fill the gap between simple cancer cell lines suitable for high-throughput screens and complicated, but physiologically relevant xenografts. The resulting applications for cancer organoids range from basic research to drug screens and patient stratification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-73
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Genetics & Development
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms
  • Organoids
  • Phenotype
  • Tissue Culture Techniques
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


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