Emerging tumor spheroids technologies for 3Din vitrocancer modeling

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Cancer is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Around 90% of deaths are caused by metastasis and just 10% by primary tumor. The advancement of treatment approaches is not at the same rhythm of the disease; making cancer a focal target of biomedical research. To enhance the understanding and prompts the therapeutic delivery; concepts of tissue engineering are applied in the development of in vitro models that can bridge between 2D cell culture and animal models, mimicking tissue microenvironment. Tumor spheroid represents highly suitable 3D organoid-like framework elucidating the intra and inter cellular signaling of cancer, like that formed in physiological niche. However, spheroids are of limited value in studying critical biological phenomenon such as tumor-stroma interactions involving extra cellular matrix or immune system. Therefore, a compelling need of tailoring spheroid technologies with physiologically relevant biomaterials or in silico models, is ever emerging. The diagnostic and prognostic role of spheroids rearrangements within biomaterials or microfluidic channel is indicative of patient management; particularly for the decision of targeted therapy. Fragmented information on available in vitro spheroid models and lack of critical analysis on transformation aspects of these strategies; pushes the urge to comprehensively overview the recent technological advancements (e.g. bioprinting, micro-fluidic technologies or use of biomaterials to attain the third dimension) in the shed of translationable cancer research. In present article, relationships between current models and their possible exploitation in clinical success is explored with the highlight of existing challenges in defining therapeutic targets and screening of drug efficacy.

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