The oncology researchers, studying cancer cell behavior are conducted by scientists and researchers all over the world to find a cure for cancer. Breakthrough research to study cancer in 3-D cell lines which mimics the patient tumor has been put forward.
The research is published in the journal Epigenetics which highlights its importance in cancer research.
This research at the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC) conducted by the Director of the institute, Dr. Manel Esteller along with his colleagues shows the use of 3-D models or organoids to study the behavior of DNA in human cancer.
Dr. Esteller elaborated on the importance of 3-D models in cancer research explaining that the cancer therapies which prove successful when tested in labs sometimes fail when applied to cancer patients. This could be due to the fact that in the initial stages of the research, the cell lines used as tumor models have been growing for tens of years and the culture flasks used are two dimensional which do not compare to the cancer cells in a human body.
These cells do not mimic the 3-D cancer cells due to which these therapies are not successful in clinical trials. He also said that epigenetic phenomena such as DNA methylation and other modifications of DNA in cancer cells can be studied using the 3-D models or organoids.
This research has proven to fill a gap in cancer research studies and it can also be beneficial for making new drugs against cancer.
Dr. Esteller who is an ICREA Research Professor said that the research team has learned about some significant properties of cancer while studying the three-dimensional human cancer tissues provided by the American Type Culture Collection (ATTC) which included 25 organoids.
The first finding shows that all cancer cells’ organoids have the same characteristics of the tissues from which they originated. This explains that the organoid isolated from a pancreatic cancer tissue is highly similar to the tumor.
The second discovery is that the normal surrounding cells do not contaminate the malignant cells due to which the cancer tissue can be analyzed. Moreover, it was also found that the 3-D tumor models closely resemble patient cancer cells rather than the regular two-dimensional cell lines that have been used over the decades.
Big Data will be formed using this research sample to facilitate collaborations among researchers as well as further studies by sharing it in research databases.
Dr. Esteller also said that biometric data can be utilized for more cancer discoveries by using this research or specific genes can be studied. Also, the ATCC can readily provide the tumor organoids to researchers all over the world so that further studies can be conducted using the epigenetic findings of this research.
The findings of this research can pave the way for several new anti-cancer drugs as well as studying the chemical behavior of DNA in a tumor. This research can also help other researchers to study the cancer cells more efficiently in their labs and conduct further studies to treat cancer.