Advances in the bladder cancer research using 3D culture models

Main Article Content

Yexin Gu
Ye Lu
Yunqiang Xiong
Xiangpeng Zhan
Taobin Liu
Min Tang
An Xie
Xiaoqiang Liu
Bin Fu

Keywords

bladder cancer, cell culture, 3D culture models, 3D bioprinting

Abstract

Bladder cancer represents the most common malignancy of the urinary system, posing a significant threat to patients' life. Animal models and two-dimensional (2D) cell cultures, among other traditional models, have been used for years to study various aspects of bladder cancer. However, these methods are subject to various limitations when mimicking the tumor microenvironment in vivo, thus hindering the further improvement of bladder cancer treatments. Recently, three-dimensional (3D) culture models have attracted extensive attention since they overcome the shortcomings of their traditional counterparts. Most importantly, 3D culture models more accurately reproduce the tumor microenvironment in the human body because they can recapitulate the cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions. 3D culture models can thereby help us gain deeper insight into the bladder cancer. The 3D culture models of tumor cells can extend the culture duration and allow for co-culturing with different cell types. Study of patient-specific bladder cancer mutations and subtypes is made possible by the ability to preserve cells isolated from particular patients in 3D culture models. It will be feasible to develop customized treatments that target relevant signaling pathways or biomarkers. This article reviews the development, application, advantages, and limitations of traditional modeling systems and 3D culture models used in the study of bladder cancer and discusses the potential application of 3D culture models.

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