Three-Dimensional Cell Culture Systems in Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research
Department of Radiopharmaceutical and Chemical Biology, Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, 01328 Dresden, Germany
School of Science, Faculty of Chemistry and Food Chemistry, Technische Universität Dresden, 01069 Dresden, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
S.H. and J.P. share senior authorship.
Received: 20 August 2020 / Revised: 14 September 2020 / Accepted: 16 September 2020 / Published: 25 September 2020
Cancer cells cultured in three-dimensional (3D) model systems exhibit physiologically relevant cell–cell and cell–matrix interactions, gene expression patterns, and signaling cascades as well as heterogeneity and structural complexity that more reliably reflect tumors and metastases than monolayer cultures do. In recent years, the development of various 3D models, including scaffold-free, scaffold-based, chip-based, and organoid systems, has improved, among other things, the characterization of new radioligands and the use of screening platforms for the development of radiotracers and radiotherapeutics. This review article attempts to summarize and critically discuss the suitability of different 3D culture systems in radiopharmaceutical cancer research. Specific emphasis is put on pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, which is a predestined target for new radiotheranostic agents. This overview also highlights the different sophisticated techniques for generating 3D models and their characteristics.