Wake Forest Baptist Health Cancer Researchers Awarded $2.5 Million Grant

Wake Forest Baptist Health Cancer Researchers Awarded $2.5 Million Grant

4:48pm Mar 30, 2021

Wake Forest Baptist Health has received a $2.5 million award to study treatment options for aggressive cancers. The National Cancer Institute grant will support ongoing studies at Wake’s Organoid Research Center — a joint effort between the Cancer Center and Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

The goal is to tailor therapies for individuals battling aggressive abdominal cancers. To do so, fragments of the patient’s tumor are reconstructed outside the body to form smaller tumors that behave similarly to the original. They are then treated with whatever drugs are available and the results analyzed.

Professor of Surgery Dr. Konstantinos Votanopoulos directs the Wake Forest Organoid Research Center.

"So, we don’t rely on giving the same drug to the same individual," he says. "But every patient is different. Every tumor is different. And then if we maintain the tumor outside the body we can probably decide what drug is working best for the tumor of the specific patient and not for a cohort of patients."

Votanopoulos says the funding will support the development of a new drug testing platform used to predict treatment outcomes for patients. The results of the studies will be leveraged in future clinical trials.

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