Pioneering new 3D cancer model to speed new treatments

IMAGE: Top image: HemoShear Therapeutics Flow Devices used to recreate the tumor microenvironment using REVEAL-Tx with potential applications for creating patient avatars. Bottom left (pancreatic) and bottom right (lung) images: tumor… view more 

Credit: Courtesy HemoShear Therapeutics

A scientist at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, working with local biotech company HemoShear Therapeutics, has created a three-dimensional model of a cancer tumor that he says has the potential to replicate the complex nature and behavior of a real tumor. The model will help researchers better understand the disease and accelerate the development of new and better treatments.

The multicellular model also can be customized to behave like a particular patient’s tumor, so that doctors can determine how the tumor will react to different drugs. That could allow them to identify the best treatment option based on a simple biopsy.

“This model enables us to understand the inner workings of tumors to systematically identify and test new ways to treat cancer,” said researcher Dan Gioeli, PhD, of UVA’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology and the UVA Cancer Center.

Better Understanding Cancer

The new model mimics the tumor “microenvironment” for pancreatic cancer and non-small cell lung carcinoma. It


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