Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Scientists from Oxford University and the University of Birmingham have made the first bone marrow ‘organoids’ that include all the key components of human marrow. This technology allows for the screening of multiple anti-cancer drugs at the same time, as well as testing personalised treatments for individual cancer patients.

Whole bone marrow organoid © Dr A Khan, University of Birmingham

The study, published in the journal Cancer Discovery, describes a new method using human stem cells grown in a specially designed 3D ‘scaffold’, to generate the key cell types that exist in human bone marrow (the which is factory that continuously produces circulating blood cells).

These new organoids can also keep cancer cells from blood cancer patients alive in the lab, something that was very difficult before. This means that doctors may now be able to test customised treatments for specific patients on their own cancer cells, to find the treatments most likely to treat the cancer.

Dr Abdullah Khan, a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and first author of the study, said: 'Remarkably, we found that the cells in their bone marrow organoids resemble real bone marrow cells not just in terms of their activity and function, but also in their architectural relationships - the cell types ‘self-organize’ and arrange themselves within the organoids just like they do in human bone marrow in the body.'

Read the full story on the Radcliffe Department of Medicine website

Similar stories

Young lives under pressure as global crises hits mental health and well-being – report

The well-being and mental health of young people in low - and middle - income countries have been dramatically affected by the series of crises hitting the world. As the international community continues to struggle with the impact of COVID-19, conflict and climate change, the latest report from the Young Lives project shows a long-running upward trend in young people’s well-being has been sharply reversed alongside widespread anxiety and depression. Young people are less confident about their futures for the first time in the 20-year study.

Bacterial infections linked to one in eight global deaths, according to GRAM study

Data showing 7.7 million deaths from 33 bacterial infections can guide measures to strengthen health systems, particularly in low-income settings

New tool aims to make bowel cancer treatments more effective

The Leedham Lab in Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM) has been awarded over £2M from Cancer Research UK to develop a new tool that could help guide how bowel cancer patients are treated in the future.

Doug Higgs awarded the 2023 Genetics Society Medal

The award recognises Radcliffe Department of Medicine's Professor Higgs major contribution to our understanding of how mammalian genes are switched on and off, and using haematopoiesis as a model to understand how genes function.

First evidence drug resistant bacteria can travel from gut to lung, increasing infection risks

A new Oxford University study released during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week has significant findings on how antimicrobial resistance (AMR) arises and persists. The results, published today in Nature Communications, provide the first direct evidence of AMR bacteria migrating from a patient’s gut microbiome to the lungs, increasing the risk of deadly infections.