Component 2 — Testing and Personalizing Therapies With the Tumor Avatar Library

Clinical trials — evaluating the benefits of new treatments in patients — are a vital part of
medical research. But testing new therapeutics usually starts with model systems in the laboratory.
Building on the pioneering work of Robert Vessella, Ph.D., we will expand our library of 26
tumor avatars — models of prostate tumors taken directly from patients — that represent a broad spectrum of prostate cancer subtypes. With this resource at hand, IPCR scientists will be able to test novel therapeutics quickly and effectively, and the results will direct our ACT-SMART studies in humans.
The tumor avatar library will help us discover, for example, which drugs are likely to work best in particular patients. We’ll be able to determine whether specific sequences or combinations of drugs show more potential than a single drug, without having to expose patients to potentially ineffective and toxic drugs.
By using tumor avatars and other tools, we can enhance translational research and hasten the flow of leading-edge approaches from the lab bench to the patient’s bedside.