SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – One of the labs at Sanford is working on ways to research cancer. In fact, they are creating their own life-like tumors to find out how different treatment options react.

Pilar De la Puente is an assistant scientist at Sanford Research.

In this lab, she is focusing on studying cancer. One way they are doing that is by replicating tumors outside of the body.

“We can use those replicated conditions to test therapeutics and see how those invitro tumors behave and respond to a specific therapy,” assistant scientist, Sanford Research, Pilar De la Puente said.

She says using this model can help them have a better understanding.

“Most typical research will use, for example, animal models, which is great but sometimes there are limitations,”De la Puente said. “We are really thriving to use a human-derived model in which we use all material from patients.”

This is an example of how they grow the samples in the laboratory setting to study cancer.

“In here we have a base, that is a little more yellowish, that is what we use to create a matrix that is the plasma patients inside are the tumor cells, the cells we have disassociated from a tumor from a cancer patient, and then the pink on top is media, we have to give them nutrients and things to eat,” De la Puente said.

It’s technology that could be life-changing.

“By modeling outside of the body in these conditions we are able to understand and hopefully find potential solutions to prevent those bad things like chemoresistance,” De la Puente said.

She says the end goal is to use these models in the future for a precision-based, personalized research.