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Phenotypic Screening for Cancer Drug Discovery

Phenotypic Screening for Cancer Drug Discovery



Project coordinator

Matthias Nees

Project partners

  • University of Turku Institute of Biomedicine
  • Funded by

  • Academy of Finland
  • The PESCADoR consortium aims to combine complementary local expertise to develop a high content, phenotypic screening or “fishing” platform that fully recapitulates the complexity of solid human cancers. We will provide matching, well characterised tools for cost-effective and fast pre-clinical drug discovery and chemosensitivity testing, based on living microtissues.

    This consortium aims to develop an experimental platform that recapitulates the architecture of human cancers. Three-dimensional “spheroid” cultures, lab-on-a-chip, so-called microfluidics and 3D bioprinting solutions have already contributed to physiologically much more relevant model systems – compared to standard two-dimensional monolayer cultures. However, such models are not yet more predictive for the outcome of treatment in clinical practice! There is still a high demand for better models that recapitulate or mimic the response of functional and living tissues, not just single cells, to anti-cancer therapies. Ideally, better platforms for testing anti-cancer therapies should also provide a possibility for fast microscopic imaging. This imaging-based evaluation of drug effects is entirely based on structural information. With a platform like this, we can not only test drugs, but also means to specifically deliver compounds to the cancer cells.