In the third webinar in this series, Dr Nataliia Beztsinna and Dr. Marten Hornsveld will describe the role of tumor microenvironment (TME)- compartments in clinical responses, as well as ex vivo patient-derived tissue technologies capable of maintaining the native TME for pre-clinical testing. Complex in vitro models with the use of human stromal and immune co-cultures will be discussed, together with the advantages of HCI to quantify intact tumor biology.

Key Topics Include:
  • Examine the key components of the TME that affect immunotherapy responses.

  • Discuss the main approaches to analyse the TME composition and the differences between ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ solid tumors

  • Identify ex vivo assays capable of maintaining native human TME. Discuss the advantages of high content imaging assay on fresh patient tissue in 3D for deciphering complex immuno-oncology drug responses

  • Comparison between in vitro based assays containing native TME or reconstituted TME

  • How myeloid cells in the TME affect tumors and methods to study and target this compartment

  • Advances in modelling the mesenchymal TME compartment in vitro and constructing pre-clinical mini-tumor platforms
Marten Hornsveld, PhD
Senior Scientist Oncology
Dr. Marten Hornsveld is a molecular biologist that focuses on understanding and targeting molecular signal transduction in cancer. During his PhD program, he studied the role of PI3K-AKT signaling in breast cancer using a variety of mouse and cell based models. In his postdoctoral research he moved into the organoid technology field and worked on building representative organoid models for pancreatic cancer. This resulted in the establishment of a novel close-to-patient mini-tumor model that can be employed for both basic research and pre-clinical studies. A year ago, he switched gears and started as a senior scientist at Crown Bioscience. Here, he continues to work on building pre-clinical tumor models to facilitate rapid discovery of promising lead compounds in the oncology field.
Nataliia Beztsinna, PhD
Associate Director / Head of 3D Ex vivo Patient Tissue Platform
Dr. Nataliia Beztsinna has a MS degree in Biochemistry and PhD in Biology-Chemistry interface. She is experienced in confocal microscopy, high content imaging, 3D cell culture, organoids, molecular imaging, primary patient tissue cultures, in vitro and in vivo cancer models and tumor- targeted drug delivery nanosystems. Currently Nataliia is working as a Head of 3D Ex Vivo Patient Tissue (EVPT) Platform. Her responsibilties include managing a small team of highly-skilled scientists, ensuring high quality execution of customer projects, interactions, technical advising and quote design for potential customers as well as research and development activities dedicated to the growth of the EVPT Platform.
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