Live from AACR, a video discussion on how 3D cell cultures are changing how we look at tumors

When you watch a new Star Wars movie in 3D, you feel like you are right inside the Millennium Falcon or feel the sting of Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber.

Building three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures also offers a glimpse into the complex world of cells that growing cells in flat layers on plastic surfaces cannot. In artificial environments, the 3D cell culture allows biological cells to grow or interact with their surroundings in width, height and depth. In oncology, 3D cell culture systems are gaining traction in drug discovery and tissue engineering because they can often provide more physiologically relevant information and more predictive data for in vivo tests.

Several key questions still remain, including: what have been the translational successes of 3D cultures in vitro vs in vivo;how can we assure compatible readout techniques in different 3D platforms; and what does the future hold for 3D platforms in oncology?

These questions were discussed by Julia Schueler, Head of Tumor Biology Modeling, Charles River Labs and Leo Price, Chief Executive Officer of OcellO, a company that offers innovative 3D assays, during the annual American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) meeting in Washington, where they are also co-authors on a poster about 3D cultures being presented on Wednesday.

“The 3D cultures are going to be used more and more. The trend is unstoppable,” said Price. “And I think really the goal here is to get in vitro assays really up to the in vivo level.”

You can watch a video of their discussion above, or read our other coverage of AACR 2017 here.