Melanoma is clearly a complex disease with a high degree of heterogeneity and adaptability. Melanoma cells are part of a larger ecosystem in which the tumor microenvironment influences their evolution and ability to evade medication therapy. In order to acquire a better knowledge of the mechanisms behind melanoma biology and therapeutic resistance, various efforts have lately been directed toward the development of ex-vivo models capable of replicating the living conditions of melanoma cells in real patients.
The researcher has created and applied a novel approach that uses complex 3D models in microfluidic systems to replicate the melanoma immune microenvironment.
The authors state that “Malignant melanoma still remains a cancer with very poor survival rates, although it is at the forefront of personalized medicine. Most patients show partial responses and disease progressed due to adaptative resistance mechanisms, preventing long-lasting clinical benefits to the current treatments.
The response to therapies can be shaped by not only taking into account cancer cell heterogeneity and plasticity but also by its structural context as well as the cellular component of the tumor microenvironment (TME).
Here, we review the recent development in the field of immunotherapy and target-based therapy and how, in the era of tumor micro-tissue engineering, ex-vivo assays could help to enhance our melanoma biology knowledge in its complexity, translating it into the development of successful therapeutic strategies, as well as in the prediction of therapeutic benefits.”.
Varrone F, Mandrich L, Caputo E. Melanoma Immunotherapy and Precision Medicine in the Era of Tumor Micro-Tissue Engineering: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going? Cancers (Basel). 2021 Nov 18;13(22):5788. doi: 10.3390/cancers13225788. PMID: 34830940; PMCID: PMC8616100.