Cancer incidence is on the rise, propelled by ageing population and unhealthy lifestyles. Cancers of the urogenital tract represented more than 30% of new cases in 2020, including bladder and prostate cancers (IARC).
Oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancers. Cancer treatments take multiple forms including both local (i.e. surgery or radiation therapy) and systemic treatments. Systemic treatments use drugs either alone or in combination, such as chemo-, immune-, targeted or hormone therapies. Their use is determined by the most recent guidelines specific to each organ and tumor type.
In western countries breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers are the most frequently occurring, followed by bladder for the male and uterus for the female. In turn these are followed by non-Hodgkin lymphomas, skin melanomas, kidney and ovarian cancers. Cancers are the greatest global cause of fatalities, responsible for 33% of male and 24% of female deaths.
Defining then targeting single molecular abnormalities or cancer pathways has achieved good clinical responses that have modestly affected survival rates for some cancers. Progress in genetics and immunotherapy have led to important recent advances and improved survival rates.
Tumor heterogeneity and acquired resistance are among the main limitations of precision oncology. New drug combinations targeting several molecular alterations or cancer hallmarks and more predictive biomarkers or tests are needed.
In dealing with aggressive subtypes of cancers with or without visible metastasis, beyond physical treatment one of the main challenges today is the early definition of the most appropriate systemic drug treatment or protocol. This is highly likely to figure among the most promising future precision cancer treatment strategies.
Urosphere has the largest biobank of urogenital PDX models in existence, with more than 30 bladder cancer, 30 renal cancer and six prostate cancer PDXs. Along with these in vivo models, we also develop organoids of bladder and prostate cancer. Thanks to a suite of cancer cell lines (renal, gastrointestinal, breast…), PDX and organoids, Urosphere offers a range of complementary technologies to better understand these cancers with the aim of finding appropriate therapeutic solutions.
Urosphere has established several partnerships with renowned institutions to developed and characterize new preclinical models in oncology. Two projects are currently running related to bladder and prostate cancers. For more information see our R&D section.
Our Services & Innovation
Urosphere’s experimental platform consists of both in vivo and in vitro pharmacological assays. We also provide access to a unique biobank of PDX preclinical models from urogenital cancers.
Finally, Urophere offers consultancy services for the preclinical development of your compounds.
Urosphere offers a range of services based on our innovative experimental models.
Development of customized models Codevelopment of therapeutic compounds Licensing.
Integrated molecular and pharmacological characterization of patient derived xenografts from bladder and ureteral cancers identifies new potential therapies
Lang H. et al., 2022. Frontiers in Oncology, 12
Recurrent activating mutations of PPAR γ associated with luminal bladder tumors
Rochel N. et al., 2019. Nature Communications, 10(1):253.
An FGFR3/MYC positive feedback loop provides new opportunities for targeted therapies in bladder cancers
Mahe M. et al., 2018. EMBO Molecular Medicine, 10(4):e8163