Press release Hubrecht Institute

Every bowel tumor and bowel cancer cell have unique genetic fingerprints

11 April 2018

New research on bowel cancer has shown that every tumour is different, and that every cell within the tumour is also genetically unique. In the first study of its kind, researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK and Hubrecht Institute (KNAW) in Utrecht, the Netherlands, used the latest single cell and organoid technologies to understand the mutational processes of the disease.

Reported in Nature, the study will help researchers understand mutational processes, and may allow them to target cancer-specific processes for prevention or treatment.

The team worked on tissue from three patients with colorectal cancer, taking normal bowel stem cells and cells from four different areas of the tumours. They then grew these into organoids – 3D  ‘mini-guts’ – in the laboratory to amplify the single cells so they could be studied.

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Hubecht Institute

Hubrecht Institute

The Hubrecht Institute – an Academy research institute – focused on developmental and stem cell biology. It encompasses 20 research groups that perform fundamental and multidisciplinary research, both in healthy systems and disease models. Since 2008, the institute is affiliated with the University Medical Center Utrecht, advancing the translation of research to the clinic. The Hubrecht Institute has a partnership with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).

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