3D tumour models to accelerate development of cancer therapies

Laboratory

When it comes to cancer therapy models, those based on patients' tumours are still expensive and labor-intensive, with typical 2D models still unsuccessful in accurately simulating the macroenvironment of tumours. To circumvent the shortcomings of current technologies, the minaturized platform screening tool was developed to assess the efficacy of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell treatment and other upcoming immunotherapies.

Karla Paterson, a PhD graduate, and Michele Zagnoni of the Strathclyde Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, collaborated to create platform screened 3D tumour models; this allowed them to envisage how CAR-T cells quickly located, fragmented, and destroyed cancer cells without causing damage to healthy cells.

“Karla Paterson and Michele Zagnoni collaborated to create platform screened 3D tumour models“

Dr Michele Zagnoni commented: “We are providing a tool for research and development labs to conduct tests before proceeding to clinical trials, which uses fewer resources and can scale up at reasonable cost. CAR-T cell development is expensive, and patient derived tissue is a limited resource. Our aim is to enable 20 to 50 times more experiments to be performed in these conditions.”

“There are particular challenges with evaluating solid tumours, not just cancerous cells but those surrounding them. We are developing a technology platform which could accelerate the development of therapies and provide models which are much more representative of what happens in the body than what is currently available.”

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