SIU 2017: A Three-Dimensional Bioprinted Bladder Cancer Recurrence Model

Lisbon, Portugal ( Dr. Atala’s group has historically had a great interest in biologically printed organ substitutes, with a focus on bladder substitutes. In bladder cancer, which is one of the most expensive malignancies to treat and monitor, an alternative to test treatments would significantly help reduce the cost burden to the patient and the system.

In this study, they aimed to create a 3D bioprinted bladder cancer model to test recurrence rates and perform drug screening. All the cells were obtained from patients undergoing bladder surgery. For bladder tumors in the simulation, they utilized bladder organoids from T2-4 cancer cells. The urothelial layer was seeded with fibronectin on the bottom of a membrane, and then smooth muscle cells were bioprinted on top. The cancer organoids were then put in contact with the urothelial layer to simulate Ta and T1 bladder cancers. Constructs were then divided into 3 groups: no treatment, microscopic excision of the cancer organoid without therapy, microscopic excision with mitomycin therapy or BCG therapy. These were used to mimic standard of care practice.

They provide very interesting IHC evidence of organoid take and success at implantation. They also demonstrated response to therapy in the same setting. With these interesting results, they felt comfortable stating that their 3D precise bioprinting replicates physiologic cancer architecture, and allows the study of bladder cancer micro environments in a bioengineered setting that is scalable, precise and relevant. 

This was a very interesting study demonstrating feasibility. We look forward to future studies. 

Presented by: Cristina Ivan
Affiliation: Wake Forest, North Carolina, USA

Written by: Thenappan Chandrasekar, MD, Clinical Fellow, University of Toronto, Twitter: @tchandra_uromd at the 37th Congress of Société Internationale d’Urologie - October 19-22, 2017- Lisbon, Portugal