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by Keyword: precision medicine

Manzano-Muñoz A, Yeste J, Ortega MA, Samitier J, Ramón-Azcón J, Montero J, (2024). A New Microfluidic Device to Facilitate Functional Precision Medicine Assays Methods In Molecular Biology 2748, 99-108

Functional precision medicine (FPM) has emerged as a new approach to improve cancer treatment. Despite its potential, FPM assays present important limitations such as the number of cells and trained personnel required. To overcome these impediments, here we describe a novel microfluidic platform that can be used to perform FPM assays, optimizing the use of primary cancer cells and simplifying the process by using microfluidics to automatize the process.© 2024. The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

JTD Keywords: Bioassay, Biological assay, Cancer treatment, Functional assays, Lab-on-a-chip devices, Microfluidics, Personalized medicine, Precision medicine


Quiñonero, G, Gallo, J, Carrasco, A, Samitier, J, Villasante, A, (2023). Engineering Biomimetic Nanoparticles through Extracellular Vesicle Coating in Cancer Tissue Models Nanomaterials 13, 3097

Using nanoparticles (NPs) in drug delivery has exhibited promising therapeutic potential in various cancer types. Nevertheless, several challenges must be addressed, including the formation of the protein corona, reduced targeting efficiency and specificity, potential immune responses, and issues related to NP penetration and distribution within 3-dimensional tissues. To tackle these challenges, we have successfully integrated iron oxide nanoparticles into neuroblastoma-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) using the parental labeling method. We first developed a tissue-engineered (TE) neuroblastoma model, confirming the viability and proliferation of neuroblastoma cells for at least 12 days, supporting its utility for EV isolation. Importantly, EVs from long-term cultures exhibited no differences compared to short-term cultures. Concurrently, we designed Rhodamine (Rh) and Polyacrylic acid (PAA)-functionalized magnetite nanoparticles (Fe3O4@PAA-Rh) with high crystallinity, purity, and superparamagnetic properties (average size: 9.2 +/- 2.5 nm). We then investigated the internalization of Fe3O4@PAA-Rh nanoparticles within neuroblastoma cells within the TE model. Maximum accumulation was observed overnight while ensuring robust cell viability. However, nanoparticle internalization was low. Taking advantage of the enhanced glucose metabolism exhibited by cancer cells, glucose (Glc)-functionalized nanoparticles (Fe3O4@PAA-Rh-Glc) were synthesized, showing superior cell uptake within the 3D model without inducing toxicity. These glucose-modified nanoparticles were selected for parental labeling of the TE models, showing effective NP encapsulation into EVs. Our research introduces innovative approaches to advance NP delivery, by partially addressing the challenges associated with 3D systems, optimizing internalization, and enhancing NP stability and specificity through EV-based carriers. Also, our findings hold the promise of more precise and effective cancer therapies while minimizing potential side effects.

JTD Keywords: Biomimetic models, Extracellular vesicles, Iron oxide nanoparticles, Neuroblastoma, Precision medicine


Velasco, P, Bautista, F, Rubio, A, Aguilar, Y, Rives, S, Dapena, JL, Pérez, A, Ramirez, M, Saiz-Ladera, C, Izquierdo, E, Escudero, A, Camós, M, Vega-Garcia, N, Ortega, M, Hidalgo-Gomez, G, Palacio, C, Menéndez, P, Bueno, C, Montero, J, Romecín, PA, Zazo, S, Alvarez, F, Parras, J, Ortega-Sabater, C, Chulián, S, Rosa, M, Cirillo, D, García, E, García, J, Manzano-Muñoz, A, Minguela, A, Fuster, JL, (2023). The relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia network (ReALLNet): a multidisciplinary project from the spanish society of pediatric hematology and oncology (SEHOP) Frontiers In Pediatrics 11, 1269560

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common pediatric cancer, with survival rates exceeding 85%. However, 15% of patients will relapse; consequently, their survival rates decrease to below 50%. Therefore, several research and innovation studies are focusing on pediatric relapsed or refractory ALL (R/R ALL). Driven by this context and following the European strategic plan to implement precision medicine equitably, the Relapsed ALL Network (ReALLNet) was launched under the umbrella of SEHOP in 2021, aiming to connect bedside patient care with expert groups in R/R ALL in an interdisciplinary and multicentric network. To achieve this objective, a board consisting of experts in diagnosis, management, preclinical research, and clinical trials has been established. The requirements of treatment centers have been evaluated, and the available oncogenomic and functional study resources have been assessed and organized. A shipping platform has been developed to process samples requiring study derivation, and an integrated diagnostic committee has been established to report results. These biological data, as well as patient outcomes, are collected in a national registry. Additionally, samples from all patients are stored in a biobank. This comprehensive repository of data and samples is expected to foster an environment where preclinical researchers and data scientists can seek to meet the complex needs of this challenging population. This proof of concept aims to demonstrate that a network-based organization, such as that embodied by ReALLNet, provides the ideal niche for the equitable and efficient implementation of "what's next" in the management of children with R/R ALL.© 2023 Velasco, Bautista, Rubio, Aguilar, Rives, Dapena, Pérez, Ramirez, Saiz-Ladera, Izquierdo, Escudero, Camós, Vega-Garcia, Ortega, Hidalgo-Gómez, Palacio, Menéndez, Bueno, Montero, Romecín, Zazo, Alvarez, Parras, Ortega-Sabater, Chulián, Rosa, Cirillo, García, García, Manzano-Muñoz, Minguela and Fuster.

JTD Keywords: artificial intelligence, cancer registry, children, discovery, functional assay, outcomes, precision medicine, risk-factors, Artificial intelligence, B-cell precursor, Cancer registry, Functional assay, Precision medicine, Relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia


Manzano-Munoz, A, Yeste, J, Ortega, MA, Martin, F, Lopez, A, Rosell, J, Castro, S, Serrano, C, Samitier, J, Ramon-Azcon, J, Montero, J, (2022). Microfluidic-based dynamic BH3 profiling predicts anticancer treatment efficacy Npj Precis Oncol 6, 90

Precision medicine is starting to incorporate functional assays to evaluate anticancer agents on patient-isolated tissues or cells to select for the most effective. Among these new technologies, dynamic BH3 profiling (DBP) has emerged and extensively been used to predict treatment efficacy in different types of cancer. DBP uses synthetic BH3 peptides to measure early apoptotic events ('priming') and anticipate therapy-induced cell death leading to tumor elimination. This predictive functional assay presents multiple advantages but a critical limitation: the cell number requirement, that limits drug screening on patient samples, especially in solid tumors. To solve this problem, we developed an innovative microfluidic-based DBP (µDBP) device that overcomes tissue limitations on primary samples. We used microfluidic chips to generate a gradient of BIM BH3 peptide, compared it with the standard flow cytometry based DBP, and tested different anticancer treatments. We first examined this new technology's predictive capacity using gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) cell lines, by comparing imatinib sensitive and resistant cells, and we could detect differences in apoptotic priming and anticipate cytotoxicity. We then validated µDBP on a refractory GIST patient sample and identified that the combination of dactolisib and venetoclax increased apoptotic priming. In summary, this new technology could represent an important advance for precision medicine by providing a fast, easy-to-use and scalable microfluidic device to perform DBP in situ as a routine assay to identify the best treatment for cancer patients.© 2022. The Author(s).

JTD Keywords: biomarkers, cancer drugs, chemotherapy, chip, models, platform, sensitivity, strategy, tumor-cells, Precision medicine


Manzano-Muñoz, A, Alcon, C, Menéndez, P, Ramírez, M, Seyfried, F, Debatin, KM, Meyer, LH, Samitier, J, Montero, J, (2021). MCL-1 Inhibition Overcomes Anti-apoptotic Adaptation to Targeted Therapies in B-Cell Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Frontiers In Cell And Developmental Biology 9, 695225

Multiple targeted therapies are currently explored for pediatric and young adult B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL) treatment. However, this new armamentarium of therapies faces an old problem: choosing the right treatment for each patient. The lack of predictive biomarkers is particularly worrying for pediatric patients since it impairs the implementation of new treatments in the clinic. In this study, we used the functional assay dynamic BH3 profiling (DBP) to evaluate two new treatments for BCP-ALL that could improve clinical outcome, especially for relapsed patients. We found that the MEK inhibitor trametinib and the multi-target tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib exquisitely increased apoptotic priming in an NRAS-mutant and in a KMT2A-rearranged cell line presenting a high expression of FLT3, respectively. Following these observations, we sought to study potential adaptations to these treatments. Indeed, we identified with DBP anti-apoptotic changes in the BCL-2 family after treatment, particularly involving MCL-1 – a pro-survival strategy previously observed in adult cancers. To overcome this adaptation, we employed the BH3 mimetic S63845, a specific MCL-1 inhibitor, and evaluated its sequential addition to both kinase inhibitors to overcome resistance. We observed that the metronomic combination of both drugs with S63845 was synergistic and showed an increased efficacy compared to single agents. Similar observations were made in BCP-ALL KMT2A-rearranged PDX cells in response to sunitinib, showing an analogous DBP profile to the SEM cell line. These findings demonstrate that rational sequences of targeted agents with BH3 mimetics, now extensively explored in clinical trials, may improve treatment effectiveness by overcoming anti-apoptotic adaptations in BCP-ALL.

JTD Keywords: apoptosis, bh3 mimetics, cancer, dependence, increases, kinase inhibition, pediatric leukemia, precision medicine, resistance, sensitivity, targeted therapies, tumor-cells, venetoclax, Apoptosis, Bcl-2 family proteins, Bh3 mimetics, Pediatric leukemia, Resistance, Targeted therapies


Hortelao, AC, Simó, C, Guix, M, Guallar-Garrido, S, Julián, E, Vilela, D, Rejc, L, Ramos-Cabrer, P, Cossío, U, Gómez-Vallejo, V, Patiño, T, Llop, J, Sánchez, S, (2021). Swarming behavior and in vivo monitoring of enzymatic nanomotors within the bladder Science Robotics 6, eabd2823

Enzyme-powered nanomotors are an exciting technology for biomedical applications due to their ability to navigate within biological environments using endogenous fuels. However, limited studies into their collective behavior and demonstrations of tracking enzyme nanomotors in vivo have hindered progress toward their clinical translation. Here, we report the swarming behavior of urease-powered nanomotors and its tracking using positron emission tomography (PET), both in vitro and in vivo. For that, mesoporous silica nanoparticles containing urease enzymes and gold nanoparticles were used as nanomotors. To image them, nanomotors were radiolabeled with either I on gold nanoparticles or F-labeled prosthetic group to urease. In vitro experiments showed enhanced fluid mixing and collective migration of nanomotors, demonstrating higher capability to swim across complex paths inside microfabricated phantoms, compared with inactive nanomotors. In vivo intravenous administration in mice confirmed their biocompatibility at the administered dose and the suitability of PET to quantitatively track nanomotors in vivo. Furthermore, nanomotors were administered directly into the bladder of mice by intravesical injection. When injected with the fuel, urea, a homogeneous distribution was observed even after the entrance of fresh urine. By contrast, control experiments using nonmotile nanomotors (i.e., without fuel or without urease) resulted in sustained phase separation, indicating that the nanomotors’ self-propulsion promotes convection and mixing in living reservoirs. Active collective dynamics, together with the medical imaging tracking, constitute a key milestone and a step forward in the field of biomedical nanorobotics, paving the way toward their use in theranostic applications. 124 18

JTD Keywords: cell, reversal, silica nanoparticles, size, step, transport, Administration, intravesical, Animals, Equipment design, Female, Gold, Metal nanoparticles, Mice, Mice, inbred c57bl, Motion, Phantoms, imaging, Positron emission tomography computed tomography, Precision medicine, Propelled micromotors, Robotics, Translational research, biomedical, Urease, Urinary bladder