Next generation organoid engineering to replace animals in cancer drug testing

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Cancer therapies have several clinical challenges associated with them, namely treatment toxicity, treatment resistance and relapse. Due to factors ranging from patient profiles to the tumour microenvironment (TME), there are several hurdles to overcome in developing effective treatments that have low toxicity that can mitigate emergence of resistance and occurrence of relapse. De novo cancer development has the highest drug attrition rates with only 1 in 10,000 preclinical candidates reaching the market. To alleviate this high attrition rate, more mimetic and sustainable preclinical models that can capture the disease biology as in the patient, are required. Organoids and next generation 3D tissue engineering is an emerging area that aims to address this problem. Advancement of three-dimensional (3D) in vitro cultures into complex organoid models incorporating multiple cell types alongside acellular aspects of tissue microenvironments can provide a system for therapeutic testing. Development of microfluidic technologies have furthermore increased the biomimetic nature of these models. Additionally, 3D bio-printing facilitates generation of tractable ex vivo models in a controlled, scalable and reproducible manner. In this review we highlight some of the traditional preclinical models used in cancer drug testing and debate how next generation organoids are being used to replace not only animal models, but also some of the more elementary in vitro approaches, such as cell lines. Examples of applications of the various models will be appraised alongside the future challenges that still need to be overcome. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier Inc.]
Original languageEnglish
Article number115586
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Early online date8 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023

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