Theranostics 2020; 10(11):5074-5089. doi:10.7150/thno.42441 This issue
1. Centre for Tumor Microenvironment, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, EC1M 6BQ London, United Kingdom;
2. Institute of Vascular Biology, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria;
3. Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3800, Australia;
4. Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3800, Australia.
In tumor engineering, 3D approaches are used to model components of the tumor microenvironment and to test new treatments. Pancreatic cancers are a cancer of substantial unmet need and survival rates are lower compared to any other cancer. Bioengineering techniques are increasingly applied to understand the unique biology of pancreatic tumors and to design patient-specific models. Here we summarize how extracellular and cellular elements of the pancreatic tumor microenvironment and their interactions have been studied in 3D cell cultures. We review selected clinical trials, assess the benefits of therapies interfering with the tumor microenvironment and address their limitations and future perspectives.