3D Cell Cultures as Prospective Models to Study Extracellular Vesicles in Cancer
Center for Cooperative Research in Biosciences (CIC bioGUNE), Exosomes Laboratory, Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA), E48160 Derio, Spain
TECNALIA Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA), E20009 Donostia San Sebastian, Spain
Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas (Ciberehd), E28029 Madrid, Spain
Ikerbasque, Basque Foundation for Science, E48009 Bilbao, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 December 2020
Revised: 10 January 2021
Accepted: 12 January 2021
Published: 15 January 2021
3D cell cultures are a qualitative improvement in cancer research because these models preserve cancer physiological characteristics better than traditional bi-dimensional cultures. Moreover, they facilitate the study of complex 3D interactions using extracellular matrices and the co-culture of different cell types. In this manner, the cells can contact themselves in a fully physiological but also controlled arrangement. In the context of tumor interactions, extracellular vesicles are essential in number of key aspects in oncology: as major interactors with extracellular matrix, as cell-to-cell messengers, as carriers of diagnostic-valuable biomarkers, and as target-specific treatment-deliver agents. The present article aims to discuss the findings achieved using 3D culture models in oncology. We further review the involvement of extracellular vesicles in the pathogenesis of cancer as well as their potential use in diagnostics and therapeutics.