New Advances in the Study of Bone Tumors: A Lesson From the 3D Environment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bone primary tumors, such as osteosarcoma, are highly aggressive pediatric tumors that in 30% of the cases develop lung metastasis and are characterized by poor prognosis. Bone is also the third most common metastatic site in patients with advanced cancer and once tumor cells become homed to the skeleton, the disease is usually considered incurable, and treatment is only palliative. Bone sarcoma and bone metastasis share the same tissue microenvironment and niches. 3D cultures represent a new promising approach for the study of interactions between tumor cells and other cellular or acellular components of the tumor microenvironment (i.e., fibroblasts, mesenchymal stem cells, bone ECM). Indeed, 3D models can mimic physiological interactions that are crucial to modulate response to soluble paracrine factors, tumor drug resistance and aggressiveness and, in all, these innovative models might be able of bypassing the use of animal-based preclinical cancer models. To date, both static and dynamic 3D cell culture models have been shown to be particularly suited for screening of anticancer agents and might provide accurate information, translating in vitro cell cultures into precision medicine. In this mini-review, we will summarize the current state-of-the-art in the field of bone tumors, both primary and metastatic, illustrating the different methods and techniques employed to realize 3D cell culture systems and new results achieved in a field that paves the way toward personalized medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 26 2019


  • 3D culture
  • bone metastasis
  • microenvironment
  • sarcoma
  • tumor niche


Dive into the research topics of 'New Advances in the Study of Bone Tumors: A Lesson From the 3D Environment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this