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01.12.2018 | Review | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 1/2018

Relevance of 3d culture systems to study osteosarcoma environment

Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research > Ausgabe 1/2018
Angela De Luca, Lavinia Raimondi, Francesca Salamanna, Valeria Carina, Viviana Costa, Daniele Bellavia, Riccardo Alessandro, Milena Fini, Gianluca Giavaresi


Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common primary malignant tumor of bone, which preferentially develops lung metastasis. Although standard chemotherapy has significantly improved long-term survival over the past few decades, the outcome for patients with metastatic or recurrent OS remains dramatically poor. Novel therapies are therefore required to slow progression and eradicate the disease. Furthermore, to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for OS onset and progression, the development of novel predictive culture systems resembling the native three-dimensional (3D) tumor microenvironment are mandatory. ‘Tumor engineering’ approaches radically changed the previous scenario, through the development of advanced and alternative 3D cell culture in vitro models able to tightly mimic the in vivo tumor microenvironment.
In this review, we will summarize the state of the art in this novel area, illustrating the different methods and techniques employed to realize 3D OS cell culture models and we report the achieved results, which highlight the efficacy of these models in reproducing the tumor milieu. Although data need to be further validated, the scientific studies reviewed here are certainly promising and give new insights into the clinical practice.
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