CORDIS - Forschungsergebnisse der EU

Development of patient “Ossicle” for the personalized modelling of bone-developing cancers and therapeutic testing


Cancer is a huge societal concern representing one death out of sixth in 2020. The vast majority of existing cancers emerge or ultimately develop in bones: leukemia, lung, breast, prostate, kidney, bladder. Our bones are thus considered a privileged “harbor” for cancer cells, and this is also associated with a very poor survival prognostic: bone-developing cancers account for ~3 million deaths each year.
When at all existing, treatments are poorly effective: 92% of new therapies successful in preclinical testing fail in clinical trials. This urgently calls for the development of models to study cancer and test therapeutics in a more reliable fashion. Towards this objective, we proposed to engineer human mini-bones in mice, in order to mimic the patient bone-developing cancer condition. These mini-bones (aka human ossicles) forming in animals consists in miniaturized bone organs composed of the patient own cells, including cancer cells. The human ossicles were thus proposed as unique technology to study tumour progression but also test therapeutics in an advanced and personalized in vivo setting. However, despite substantial promises, the human ossicle model suffers from a lack of standardization: only 10% of patient-derived cells can successfully form human ossicle5. This prevents the large exploitation of hOss as a standard model to study bone-developing cancers and establish tailored treatments.

We here propose OssiGel as a technology offering the standardized and reproducible formation of human ossicles. OssiGel consists in a cell-secreted gel, which production is ensured by a dedicated human cell line. Mixing isolated patient cells with OssiGel in vitro restore their capacity to form human ossicle. By injecting the OssiGel/patient-cells mixture in the back of mice leads to the successful formation of human ossicle in vivo (Fig. 1). The resulting patient-derived bones can then be used to study cancer development and for the personal testing/selection of drugs.


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€ 150 000,00
Paradisgatan 5c
22100 Lund

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Södra Sverige Sydsverige Skåne län
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
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