In recent years, 3D cell culture has emerged as a promising approach to studying the immune system and its interactions with cancer cells. Indeed, 3D cell culture mimics better the natural architecture of tissues and provides a more physiologically relevant models for drug discovery.
One of the major advantages of 3D cell culture in immunooncology is the ability to better model the complex interactions between cancer cells and immune cells. In traditional 2D cell culture, immune cells are often isolated from the tumor microenvironment and do not accurately reflect the dynamic interactions that occur in vivo. In 3D culture, immune cells can be co-cultured with cancer cells in a more realistic spatial arrangement, allowing for a better understanding of how immune cells respond to cancer and how cancer cells evade immune surveillance.
Moreover, the add of extracellular matrix (ECM) components in 3D in vitro models improves again their relevance. Indeed, the ECM is highly involved in cancer initiation, development and metastasis propagation, because of modifications in its composition and stiffness.
Consequently, traditional 2D cell culture are limited in its ability to accurately predict drug efficacy in vivo because irrelevant cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions lead differences in cell morphology, gene expression, and signaling pathways. By contrast, complex 3D in vitro models including both the cellular (fibroblasts, immune cells, etc.) and the matricial aspect of the tumor microenvironment provide more predictive assessment of drug efficacy and toxicity.
Therefore, 3D cell culture in a relevant matrix represents a significant advancement in immunooncology research and drug discovery. By providing a more physiologically relevant environment for studying the interactions between cancer cells and immune cells, 3D culture has the potential to accelerate the development of personalized cancer treatments and improve patient outcomes.
That why HCS Pharma has develop BIOMIMESYS®, a hyaluronic acid-based hydroscaffold bio-functionalized with other components of the extracellular matrix. Its composition and stiffness can be adapted to each healthy or diseased organ, including cancer. Because it is porous, it is adapted for co-culture of cancerous and immune cells. In this way, it allow reproduces all the aspects of tumor microenvironment: matrix architecture, composition and stiffness, cell organization, cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions.