Microfluidics: A new tool for modeling cancer-immune interactions

Trends Cancer. 2016 Jan 1;2(1):6-19. doi: 10.1016/j.trecan.2015.12.003.


In recognition of the enormous potential of immunotherapies against cancer, research into the interactions between tumor and immune cells has accelerated, leading to the recent FDA approval of several drugs that reduce cancer progression. Numerous cellular and molecular interactions have been identified by which immune cells can intervene in the metastatic cascade, leading to the development of several in vivo and in vitro model systems that can recapitulate these processes. Among these, microfluidic technologies hold many advantages in terms of their unique ability to capture the essential features of multiple cell type interactions in three-dimensions while allowing tight control of the microenvironment and real-time monitoring. Here, we review current assays and discuss the development of new microfluidic technologies for immunotherapy.

Keywords: Microfluidics; drug screening; immunotherapy; metastatic cancer.