How miniature tumors can be grown on P3D Scaffolds for cancer research​

How miniature tumors can be grown on P3D Scaffolds for cancer research

Tumoroids yield good research models for cancer research and screening of anticancer therapies

In the study of cancer, tumoroids (tumor-like organoids) represent a promising tool for cost-effective research and screening of anticancer therapies.

What are Tumoroids?

Tumoroids are miniaturized and simplified versions of tumors that can replicate and mimic human tumor microenvironments. Accordingly, tumoroid models can be used to perform in-depth investigations of the immune response in cancer progression and assess the impact of different pharmaceutical candidates on the immune reply.

Tumoroids – like other types of organoids (i.e. miniature 3D tissue cultures) – can be grown on scaffolds that offer an environment which allows cells to follow their own genetic instructions to self-organize and form 3D structures that resemble mini-organs.

Such an optimal environment for cell development and migration is offered by three-dimensional cell growth support structures. These structures allow researchers to 3D culture tiny versions of different tissues, using human cells.

Tumoroid formation using bone scaffolds

Most primary tumorsm such as breast or prostate cancerm are able to metastasize to the bone marrow, leading to secondary bone cancer. Although cancer is widely studied, little is known about bone cancer and even less is known about cancers’ ability to metastasize to different organs – despite the fact that metastases are often more dangerous than the primary tumor and are responsible for 90% of all cancer deaths (DW, Science). An important tool for heightening our cancer and metastasis knowledge is in vitro tumor models such as tumoroids on bone scaffolds.​

Cell growth support structures like the P3D Scaffolds can be used to co-culture human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and cancer cell lines on structures that resemble native human bone. The scaffolds mimic the bone environment found in the human body, and thereby secure that cells develop and migrate on the scaffold like they would inside the body.

By adding hMSCs and cancer cells onto the bone-like structures, you can grow a tumor replica on a lifelike bone environment. This model system can then be used to study bone cancer progression and be subjected to chemotherapeutic treatment to perform accurate assessments of chemotherapies and novel anticancer drugs, as well as predictions of patient outcomes.

What are the advantages of 3D tumor models?

In general, animal models and 2D human cell lines have little similarity to human tissue. By utilizing 3D tumoroid models, such as the P3D Scaffold, researchers are able to imitate human bone tissue, obtain reliable results and ultimately better understand the complex dynamics and interplay of cancers occurring in vivo by using standard in vitro methods. The tumoroid models are furthermore ideal for screening of anticancer therapies as the tumoroid models enable realistic testing which results in reliable data when subsequently translated.

Thus, while animal models and traditional 2D human cell lines are not always reliable ways to predict how cancer or pharmaceutical treatments will affect humans, disease modeling and drug screening of human organs or tumors grown on scaffolds offer very promising alternative methods.

By 3D culturing stem cells and cancer cells on the scaffolds, you can create a good, predictive cancerous tumor model that translates accurate findings to human pathology.


Tumoroids in future cancer research

While researchers and the pharmaceutical industry have relied on animal models and 2D human cell lines to secure the developments in cancer research up until this day, the cultivation of tumoroids is now recognized to represent a very promising tool for cost-effective research.

With the use of 3D cultured human cells rather than animal models, new therapies may be developed more effectively and in a shorter time frame.

If you have any questions, please email We are always available to discuss how we can help your team develop the right 3D cell model customized to your research needs.