Advancement of scaffold-based 3D cellular models in cancer tissue engineering: An update

Frontiers in Oncology   25 October 2021| 

Kavitha Unnikrishnan, Lynda Velutheril Thomas and Ram Mohan Ram Kumar


The lack of traditional cancer treatments has resulted in an increased need for new clinical techniques. Standard two-dimensional (2D) models used to validate drug efficacy and screening have a low in vitro-in vivo translation potential. Recreating the in vivo tumor microenvironment at the three-dimensional (3D) level is essential to resolve these limitations in the 2D culture and improve therapy results. The physical and mechanical environments of 3D culture allow cancer cells to expand in a heterogeneous manner, adopt different phenotypes, gene and protein profiles, and develop metastatic potential and drug resistance similar to human tumors. The current application of 3D scaffold culture systems based on synthetic polymers or selected extracellular matrix components promotes signalling, survival, and cancer cell proliferation. This review will focus on the recent advancement of numerous 3D-based scaffold models for cancer tissue engineering, which will increase the predictive ability of preclinical studies and significantly improve clinical translation.


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