Cancer Tumors Respond To Low Dosage Combo Drugs

Cancer tumors responded well to low dosages of three drugs given simultaneously, a recent study reports.


Researchers at University of Geneva (UNIGE) in Switzerland, developed a way of recreating tumors in 3D outside the body and then using them to test drugs. This technique can provide oncologists with a uniform way to test various drugs and dosages on patients and get consistent results.


This is a major breakthrough as cancerous tumors can be very inconsistent in how they respond to drug therapies. For example, while the tumor of one patient can rapidly shrink when exposed to a given drug, another patient with the dame tumor might not respond from that same drug.  This phenomenon highlights why personalized medicine is such an important component of biomedical research.




cancer tumors

3D model of colorectal cancer exposed for 72 hours to treatment with a three-drug combination containing regorafenib, erlotinib and 5-fluorouracil.




Cancer Tumors: Study Results

Drug testing was done on a 3D tumor culture focusing on colon cancer. The technique, however, can also be tested on other types of cancer. The 3D tumor cultures are created in 3 days and then drugs are tested for the next 5 days. The tumor is kept alive for the entire duration so that various drug dosages can tested.


Researchers tested combinations of three different drugs on colon tumors grown from the cells of six different patients. They tested these combinations at different points during the tumors’ development.


They found that low concentrations of three different drugs worked better compared to a high concentration of one drug. And, moreover, the side effects were reduced and the effectiveness was greater.

The next steps will require more testing of this new technology with more patients. Of course, the goal is finding the most effective combinations of drug therapies that work against all forms of cancer.

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