A new advance in the fight against childhood cancer

An international consortium, with the collaboration of Alberto Villanueva’s team at IDIBELL and the Catalan Institute of Oncology, and the Vall d’Hebron Hospital, has generated a collection of pediatric cancer models in mice based on the tumors in children that will allow the effectiveness of treatments to be tested before administering them to patients.

231109- Alberto Villanueva còpia

A recent study published in the scientific journal ‘Communications Biology‘ has taken an important step in the fight against childhood cancer, especially in those children who suffer from a cancer that has a poor prognosis or at risk of relapse. It involves the creation of a collection of pediatric tumor models in mice from biopsies and/or fragments of patients’ tumors. These models will allow testing the effectiveness of treatments before administering them to patients.


The study has been carried out by an international consortium with the collaboration of Alberto Villanueva’s research team at IDIBELL and the Catalan Institute of Oncology, and the Vall d’Hebron Pediatric Oncology Service. In this project, 131 new models have been created with samples of different types of childhood cancer such as sarcomas, neuroblastomas, hepatoblastomas, brain tumors and leukemias, among others. These models reproduce the histological and genetic characteristics of children’s tumors, which will help find and develop more effective treatments.


According to Villanueva, “this new collection offers an important advance in these childhood cancers or with those children who may suffer a relapse of the disease since it allows us to test the effectiveness of new treatments that could subsequently be used in patients” and adds: “In addition, it is worth highlighting the importance of collaboration in this type of study where the involvement of patients and their families has been essential.”


It is important to highlight that these models generated, as well as the other fifty produced during the thesis of Dr. Gabriela Guillén, will be very important tools to validate the precision medicine strategy and personalize treatments for children with tumors with a poor prognosis and resistance to treatments,” concludes Villanueva.


Original paper:

A biobank of pediatric patient-derived-xenograft models in cancer precision medicine trial MAPPYACTS for relapsed and refractory tumors. Marques Da Costa ME, Zaidi S, Scoazec JY, Droit R, Lim WC, Marchais A, Salmon J, Cherkaoui S, Morscher RJ, Laurent A, Malinge S, Mercher T, Tabone-Eglinger S, Goddard I, Pflumio F, Calvo J, Redini F, Entz-Werlé N, Soriano A, Villanueva A, Cairo S, Chastagner P, Moro M, Owens C, Casanova M, Hladun-Alvaro R, Berlanga P, Daudigeos-Dubus E, Dessen P, Zitvogel L, Lacroix L, Pierron G, Delattre O, Schleiermacher G, Surdez D, Geoerger B. Commun Biol. 2023 Sep 18;6(1):949. doi: 10.1038/s42003-023-05320-0.

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