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Innovation at Syngene: Translatable models for improving cancer research

One of the main challenges in cancer research is the development of experimental models required to study the progress of cancer and test the response of novel cancer drug candidates before being administered to humans. In this context, tumor models made from animal cells and tissues achieve a better understanding of cancer biology and improve cancer treatments.

Building new tumor models

The tumor model is used to screen compounds to understand the anti-cancer effects of drugs as part of transferring basic in vitro and in vivo research findings into application on humans. Developing tumor models that closely mimic the natural environment of the tumor inside the human body improves the accuracy in predicting test compound efficacy. However, the traditional tumor models are subcutaneous because creating actual tumor microenvironments for cell‑to‑cell interactions is challenging. This reduces the accuracy of the prediction of outcomes.

Several recent comparative studies suggest that patient-derived tumors grown in mice maintain many of the important characteristics of the original tumor and thus represent a
better tool for developing new cancer therapeutics. Taking this research further, Syngene Biology scientists have developed orthotopic1 tumor and spheroid2 tumor models, which can help improve translatability and clinical relevance for patient usage. These models have exhibited high accuracy when applied to the Standard of Care (SOC)3 in animal models.

Extending cell lines

Once validated against the standard of care, Syngene scientists developed orthotopic tumor models for bladder and breast cancer by injecting the tumor cells into tissues or organs of mice. The 3D spheroid tumor models were developed for different cell lines by subcutaneous transplantation of spheroid cells into mice. Preliminary data indicates the growth of tumors over time, demonstrating the animal system’s acceptance of these 3D spheroids. The models were also successfully validated against the SOC.

Reducing screening costs

Syngene’s tumor models improve the accuracy of research data and serve as low-cost screening platforms for drug therapies. They offer opportunities to screen the efficacy of novel therapeutic agents and the most recent medical advances, such as proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTACs). Consequently, the company’s tumor model portfolio is being expanded to include more cancer targets to meet client requirements.


  1. Orthotopic models involve the seeding of tumor cell lines or patient-derived cell xenografts into animal models
  2. Spheroids are simple, widely used multicellular 3D models that form due to the tendency of adherent cells to aggregate. They can be generated from a broad range of cell types, such as embryos, liver, and neural cells.
  3. SOC is a treatment that is accepted by medical authorities as a suitable treatment for a certain type of disease, and that is widely used by healthcare professionals.


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