The TCIC/Marshfield Clinic/Rivers Cancer Center Tumor Biology Collaboration.

During the summer of 2008, the TCIC was awarded a second WiSys Technology Foundation ARG grant to establish a collaborative research program together with physicians at the Marshfield Clinic. This project applies the uniquely successful TCIC tissue engineering technology to the growth and testing of primary human tumors. The overall long-term goal of this work is to develop new translational and personalized medicine approaches to the treatment of cancer and focuses on the potential contribution of putative “tumor stem cell” populations to tumor development. Early results from these studies have established that, in fact, we can generate significant long-term tumor-derived artificial tissues from breast, prostate, lung, colon and brain tumor samples. Each tumor type displayed significantly different ATs characteristics, although some common themes in terms of outgrowth and expansion were seen among the several tumor types studied. Distinctive apparent correlations were also observed between the original diagnostic staging of the tumor and it’s subsequent growth on 3D scaffolds. By 2009, the new regional cancer center forming at the River Falls Hospital joined this project as well. Several new grant proposals are planned for the near future to continue and expand this project to evaluate the initial observations and begin the process of developing a new personalized medicine approach to cancer therapeutic design.