Lab-Grown 3D Tumor Model Provides New Tool to Study Ovarian Cancer, Treatments

Lab-Grown 3D Tumor Model Provides New Tool to Study Ovarian Cancer, Treatments
A lab-grown, three-dimensional (3D) ovarian tumor model will give researchers a new way to study tumor growth in ovarian cancer and to test how tumors might respond to treatments, scientists say. The proof-of-concept study, "Peptide-protein coassembling matrices as a biomimetic 3D model of ovarian cancer," was published in the journal Science Advances. Preclinical studies of potential cancer therapies rely largely on two-dimensional tissue cultures — cells grown in lab dishes — and animal models of the type of disease being treated. However, 2D-models lack many key features found in tumor tissues, and successful mouse treatments often fail in human patients, largely due to differences between the two species. An estimated 90% of successful preclinical cancer treatments fail early in clinical trials, and less than 5% of investigative therapies actually pass. These dire percentages underscore the need for better preclinical models. “Thus, novel experimental 3D cancer models are needed to better recapitulate the human tumor microenvironment (TME) and incorporate patient-specific differences,” the investigators wrote. Here, researchers at Queen Mary University of London and their colleagues described how they used peptide amphiphiles (PAs) — short amino acid chains that can self-assemble into more complex structures — to create a new 3D cancer model that could accurately reflect what happens in patients. “Bioengineered self-assembling matrices expand our experimental repertoire to study tumor growth and progression in a biologically relevant, yet controlled, manner," Alvaro Mata, professor in the school of pharmacy and the department of chemical and environmental engineering at the University of Nottingham, in the U.K., said in a press relea
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