Tumor engineering a clinical relevant in vivo model for peritoneal metastasis

01 October 2018 → 30 September 2021
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Morphological sciences
    • Oncology
    • Morphological sciences
    • Oncology
    • Morphological sciences
    • Oncology
Tumor engineering
Project description

With this project we aim to ‘tissue engineer’ a clinical relevant tumor models for tumors that have
spread through the abdominal cavity. these tumors consist out of cancer cells, tumor supporting
cells/tissue, immune cells, blood vessels and high tissue pressure. Fast growing cancer cells, bad
quality blood vessels and contraction of tissue by the tumor supporting cells are creating the high
pressure. High pressure prevents chemo and immune cell infiltration. Furthermore, the tumor
supporting cells aid the cancer cells to avoid immune attacks while chemotherapy is taken up by
the tumor supporting cells. Current animal models mainly consist of fast growing cancer cells and
poorly mimic the patient tumors. To improve therapy, we need reliable models. We have ‘tumor
engineered’ a scaffold by 3D printing a structure in hard plastic, this structure was populated with
a mixture of cancer and supporting cells. After implantation blood vessels and supporting tissue
fills the empty spaces of the structure. This result in a tumor that morphological mimic a patient
tumor. However, because we use hard plastic high tissue pressure does not occur. We would like
to use a new flexible material to print the scaffold. The formulation of the material is adjustable
and the level of elasticity can be altered. With this new model we would like to see if by
normalizing the blood vessels and the tumor supporting cells/tissue we could improve
chemo/immunotherapies and distribution of nanomedicine.