Like actors assembled to perform a play, hundreds of genes and proteins
have been cast in cancer-related roles in the last few decades. But without
a script, a narrative of how these characters interact to disrupt normal biological
activities and cause a malignancy remains an unfinished story.
For the drama to unfold properly, a stage—a model system—is
needed that closely mimics the living environment in which cancer pathogenesis
occurs. To this end, some researchers are turning to three-dimensional (3-D)
cell culture systems. The reason: limitations of the traditional mainstays
of cancer research, cell cultures and animal models.
Friedrich MJ. Studying Cancer in 3 Dimensions. JAMA. 2003;290(15):1977-1979. doi:10.1001/jama.290.15.1977