The Evolution of Tumor Models: Why Cancer Researchers Shifted Their Focus To 3D

The Evolution of Tumor Models: Why Cancer Researchers Shifted Their Focus To 3D

For many years, two-dimensional cell cultures were one of the only options researchers had to create and study cell growth and interaction. But 2D systems have definitive limitations: unlike how they behave in the human body, cells can’t grow in all directions in 2D, which makes it difficult to get realistic results. Because these cell cultures aren’t totally accurate, they don’t allow researchers to precisely predict how a given substance or medication will react in vivo.

3D tumor models, however, are much more true to life. Because 3D cell cultures mimic the tumor microenvironment more closely than 2D systems do, this realism results in much better research. These 3D tumor models accurately replicate the microenvironments of tumors found in nature like necrosis, angiogenesis, cell adhesion, and more. When researchers use 3D cell culture systems to have a more complete picture, there are more promising possibilities for the future of cancer treatments.

Since the types and behaviors of tumors are varied — there are over 120 different types of brain tumors alone — it can be a challenge for researchers to create treatments that are effective for patients across the board. However, thanks to 3D tumor models, these treatments may one day be totally personalized.

As it stands now, new cancer drugs need to be clinically tested prior to approval. It costs over $2 billion to develop just one new cancer drug, and nearly 90% of drugs that enter clinical trials fail. By using 3D cell systems, researchers can observe the exact behavior of certain cells from patient samples when given specific treatments. This gives researchers the potential to make personalized and effective cancer treatments for patients. Overall, this process would bring the cost of cancer treatments down, as time and money would not be wasted on developing treatments that don’t work in the human body.

The use of 3D models is still relatively new, but their potential is tremendous. At BRTI Life Sciences, we’ve made it simple for you to design your own 3D models for tumor research. Our Cell-Mate3D™ is a 3D cell culture matrix that is tissue-like, injectable, and chemically defined, thus offering a realistic microenvironment to be used in both in vitro and in vivo biomedical studies. To find out more about how our products can help you to conduct more accurate research, please contact us today.