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Episode 30 - Killing Cancer with Mice

Members of the Certis Oncology Team share their groundbreaking new model for approaching the treatment of cancer using patient derived xenografts implanted into a mouse to advance the development of oncology.

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CEO Peter Ellman

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Dr. Arun Singh M.D.

Surgical Oncologist Dr. Fritz Eilber M.D.


On this episode, Bill and Dr. Steve are joined by three members of the Certis Oncology team: CEO Peter Ellman, Dr. Arun Singh M.D., and Surgeon Fritz Eilber. Certis is an early stage biotech company with a focus on advancing translational oncology through the O-PDX technique. O-PDX standing for “patient derived xenografts” are models of cancer where the tissue or cells from a patient's tumor are implanted into an immunodeficient or humanized mouse. Certis acquires intimate knowledge about the biology, chemistry and evolution of individual cancers to empower patients, inform treatment strategies and advance the next generation of oncology therapeutics. We think you’ll be just as inspired by this episode as we are.

Episode Timestamps:

3:40 Why is treating cancer still such a mystery?

4:30 What is cancer?

5:24 What is the Certis Oncology all about?

6:54 Petri Dish vs Mouse Model

7:39 The novelty of using immunosuppressive mice

9:35 How does Certis scale this model to the whole world

10:57 Can you start your oncology treatment with the mouse method via Certis?

12:08 Do insurance companies play ball with mouse model research?

13:15 What should general surgeons outside of Certis be doing with biopsy specimens?

14:32 What is the turnaround time on the mouse model research?

16:27 What is the dynamic with Certis and an individuals specific oncologist?

21:33 Peter Ellman shares how Certis got started

26:00 Does a tumor that is implanted in a mouse have the same likelihood of traveling to other organs as it would in a human?

28:22 Can patients request having work done with Certis?

30:13 Where is Certis getting it’s funding from, and what is the future dynamic with insurance companies?

33:00 Can the model work for other diseases outside cancer?


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Produced & Edited by: AJ Moseley

Hosted by: Dr. Steven Taback & Bill Curtis

Sound Engineering by: Steve Reikeberg

Theme Music by: Celleste & Eric Dick

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