Discovery Network on organoids in Cambridge UK (2011)
In the Fall of 2011 Inspire2Live organised its first Discovery Network conference. The principle actors are Hans Clevers (Hubrecht), Mike Stratton Sanger), Jose Baselga (Mass General), Matthew Meyerson (Broad), David Tuveson (CRUK Cambridge) and Stephen Friend (Sage Bionetworks).
Lex van Eeggermont (Gustave Roussy) leads the sessions which take place in the Mountbatten room of Christ College in Cambridge. Right around the corner are the Lodgings where Charles Darwin stayed when he studied theology. It is here that an idea is shared among a of dedicated researchers and clinicians.
At Christ College Hans Clevers narrates about the technique developed at the Hubrecht Institute to take live tumor cells from a tumor, put them in a gel and create a living biobank of cancer cells: organoids. Everyone is astounded. It is possible not just to create and use a biobank of tumor tissue for research purposes, it can also be used to personalize treatment. It is concluded that a follow up is important. Hans’ technique to create a biobank of living tumor cells looks extremely promising.
Finally, Dave Tuveson makes a case for getting pancreas cancer on the priority list of researchers and clinicians. He calls the meeting the occasion for the Mountbatten accord, to make pancreas cancer research a number one problem to be tackled.