In vitro three-dimensional tumor microenvironment models for anticancer drug discovery

Keiran S.M. Smalley, Mercedes Lioni, Kazuhiro Noma, Nikolas K. Haass, Meenhard Herlyn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


Anticancer drug discovery has long been hampered by the poor predictivity of the preclinical models. There is a growing realization that the tumor microenvironment is a critical determinant of the response of cancer cells to therapeutic agents. The past 5 years have seen a great deal of progress in our understanding of how the three-dimensional microenvironment modulates the signaling behavior of tumor cells. The present review discusses how three-dimensional in vitro cell culture models can benefit cancer drug discovery through an accurate modeling of the tumor microenvironment, leading to more physiologically relevant experimental outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Discovery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D
  • Angiogenesis
  • Breast
  • Cancer
  • Esophagusoncology
  • Organotypic
  • Skin
  • Spheroid
  • Therapy
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery


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