3D Models as a Tool to Assess the Anti-Tumor Efficacy of Therapeutic Antibodies: Advantages and Limitations

Antibodies (Basel). 2022 Jul 8;11(3):46. doi: 10.3390/antib11030046.


Therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are an emerging and very active frontier in clinical oncology, with hundred molecules currently in use or being tested. These treatments have already revolutionized clinical outcomes in both solid and hematological malignancies. However, identifying patients who are most likely to benefit from mAbs treatment is currently challenging and limiting the impact of such therapies. To overcome this issue, and to fulfill the expectations of mAbs therapies, it is urgently required to develop proper culture models capable of faithfully reproducing the interactions between tumor and its surrounding native microenvironment (TME). Three-dimensional (3D) models which allow the assessment of the impact of drugs on tumors within its TME in a patient-specific context are promising avenues to progressively fill the gap between conventional 2D cultures and animal models, substantially contributing to the achievement of personalized medicine. This review aims to give a brief overview of the currently available 3D models, together with their specific exploitation for therapeutic mAbs testing, underlying advantages and current limitations to a broader use in preclinical oncology.

Keywords: 3D models; drug response; therapeutic monoclonal antibodies; tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.