The tumour microenvironment (TME) forms a major obstacle in effective cancer treatment and for clinical success of immunotherapy. Conventional co-cultures have shed light onto multiple aspects of cancer immunobiology, but they are limited by the lack of physiological complexity. We develop a human organotypic skin melanoma culture (OMC) that allows real-time study of host-malignant cell interactions within a multicellular tissue architecture. By co-culturing decellularized dermis with keratinocytes, fibroblasts and immune cells in the presence of melanoma cells, we generate a reconstructed TME that closely resembles tumour growth as observed in human lesions and supports cell survival and function. We demonstrate that the OMC is suitable and outperforms conventional 2D co-cultures for the study of TME-imprinting mechanisms. Within the OMC, we observe the tumour-driven conversion of cDC2s into CD14+ DCs, characterized by an immunosuppressive phenotype. The OMC provides a valuable approach to study how a TME affects the immune system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)