Improving cancer treatment with 3D modeling of drug resistance
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IMAGE: Cell growth is a highly regulated process in healthy tissues; however, this process is deregulated in cancer cells, enabling them to continually grow to form tumors. This growth is driven… view more 

Credit: Dr. Hossein Tavana

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding the research of a University of Akron (UA) scientist that could lead to more effective cancer treatment.

Dr. Hossein Tavana and students in his Tissue Engineering Microtechnologies lab recently developed and patented a method to make 3D cultures of clustered cancer cells (called spheroids) that better mimic tumors in the body than the 2D cultures used in traditional methods (in which a thin layer of cells is treated on a flat, plastic dish), ultimately allowing for more accurate drug testing. This resulted from a 2013 NIH grant to Tavana, an associate professor of biomedical engineering in UA’s College of Engineering.

Now the team is using a new, three-year, $467,312 grant from the NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) to model the response of colon cancer cells to anticancer drugs. “Understanding how cancer cells are able – as often happens – to resist those drugs is a major step toward improving treatments,” Tavana said.

Cell growth

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Article originally posted at
www.eurekalert.org

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