Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common malignant cancers worldwide, and is associated with substantial mortality. In general, patients with HCC are accompanied by fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver-related disease. Nevertheless, we have just focused on the elimination of HCC for liver cancer therapy.
Hence, we challenged various strategies such as anti-fibrotic, anti-inflammatory, molecular target approaches and regulation of metabolic dysregulation in progressive fibrotic liver diseases through establishment of multicellular hepatic spheroids models (MCHSs).
The MCHS model is a powerful method for anticancer research because of its ability to mimic the complexity and heterogeneity of tumor tissue, the three-dimensional cellular context of tumor tissue, and the pathophysiological gradients of in vivo tumors. We, therefore, provided a proof of concept to determine whether spheroid models simulate in vivo tumor microenvironments (TME). We then performed screening to identify compounds for HCC and fibrosis therapy using the MCHS model in a high-throughput screening (HTS) system. We also demonstrated apparent differences in the metabolism between 2D and 3D culture conditions of HCC through proteomic analysis.
The results showed that MCHS model provides a new paradigm for HTS drug screening and identification of novel targets of HCC and fibrosis, which will significantly improve the efficiency of identifying new drugs for HCC treatment.
I received a Ph.D. degree in Molecular biology at the Korea University, Korea (2008) and had postdoctoral training in the laboratories of radiation effect (KIRAMS, 2008) and Institut Pasteur Korea (2010). I joined the Institut Pasteur Korea in 2010, I was involved in a project of assay development for prediction of drug induced liver injury (DILI) through high content screening system.
Currently, I’m the head of cancer biology laboratory (CBL), which is created in IPK with the aim to develop highly efficient and safe drugs to treat hepatocellular carcinoma. To overcome the limitations of existing liver cancer therapies, CBL takes a holistic view of tumors, constructing a 3-dimensional (3D) tumor microenvironment in vitro to fully understand tumor development, progression, chemo-resistance and treatment response which can be used as a platform for anti-cancer drug discovery, improving personalized cancer therapy.