Cancer research

A large number of anticancer drugs fail in clinical trials due to lack of efficacy. To increase the number of well succeeded drug candidates, more predictive models for pre-clinical discovery are required. Tumour cell lines are adapted to proliferate in 2D culture dishes, which fail to recapitulate physiological cell-cell, cell-matrix and other microenvironment contacts.

We are working on the development of 3D in vitro cancer models that better mimic solid tumors by conjugating bioreactor technology and multicellular aggregate approaches.

Selected Publications

Santo VE, Rebelo SP, Estrada MF, Alves PM, Boghaert E, Brito C. 2017. Drug screening in 3D in vitro tumor models: overcoming current pitfalls of efficacy read-outs. Biotechnology Journal.  

Stock K, Estrada MF, Vidic S, Gjerde K, Rudisch A, Santo VE, Barbier M, Blom S, Arundkar SC, Selvam I, Osswald A, Stein Y, Gruenewald S, Brito C, van Weerden W, Rotter V, Boghaert E, Oren M, Sommergruber W, Chong Y, de Hoogt R, Graeser R. 2016. Capturing tumor complexity in vitro: Comparative analysis of 2D and 3D tumor models for drug discovery. Scientific Reports. 6, 28951.  

Santo VE, Estrada MF, Rebelo SP, Abreu S, Silva I, Pinto C, Veloso SC, Serra AT, Boghaert E, Alves PM, Brito, C. 2016. Adaptable stirred-tank culture strategies for large scale production of multicellular spheroid-based tumor cell models. J Biotechnol. 221 118-29. 

Estrada MF, Rebelo SP, Davies EJ, Pinto MT, Pereira H, Santo VE, Smalley MJ, Barry ST, Gualda EJ, Alves PM, Anderson E, Brito C. 2016. Modelling the tumour microenvironment in long-term microencapsulated 3D co-cultures recapitulates phenotypic features of disease progression. Biomaterials. 78:50-61.