3D printers are used to learn and learn about some cancers. A work directed by Ezequiel Monferrer and published by the International Journal of Molecular Sciences can facilitate the availability of models that mimic different types of neuroblastoma, in type of brain cancer, in which to perform therapeutic trials.
The objective is recreate 3D models of neuroblastoma to study, analyze and be able to reduce its growth or aggressiveness, thus improving the treatments and the fight against this cancer, which is one of the most frequent tumors in children.
«Since the project is underway, we have developed different models3D with three-dimensional bioprinting technology based on patient tumors. These structures are made up of gelatin and methacrylated alginate and serve to recreate tumor environments, with different rigidity and which are subject to different interactions, ”the researcher comments.
As the article in the journal explains, neuroblastoma cells have been cultured in these structures along with other non-cancerous cells that are part of the tumor complex. thus recreating the relationship between tumor cells and their environment.
The results indicate that environmental conditions greatly influence cell proliferation, the production of vitronectin -a type of protein associated with the aggressiveness of neuroblastoma- and the expression of genes related to migration.
In addition, the investigation has verified how the presence of non-cancerous cells in crops 3D modifies the tumor behavior.
“These investigations are essential to have well-characterized models that mimic different types of neuroblastoma in which to perform preclinical therapeutic trials and work on possible treatments to reduce its aggressiveness. Furthermore, they will allow us to carry out more precise diagnoses or predictions of the tumor process in patients ”, explains Dr. Antonio Llombart, vice president of the Spanish Association Against Cancer in Valencia.