DATE: August 15, 2018
TIME: 08:00AM PDT, 11:00AM EDT
The failure of current chemotherapeutic strategies in the fight against cancer can be largely attributed to the occurrence of drug resistance. Drug resistance is a major concern, especially in aggressive and highly metastatic tumours with a poor prognosis. In vitro cell-based models cultured as traditional two-dimensional (2D) cultures are commonly used for cancer research, including drug resistance studies. However, the inconsistencies between 2D in vitro results and in vivo or clinical findings have raised doubts about the accountability of 2D in vitro models as accurate representatives of in vivo tumours. Seeing as cancer cells cultured as three-dimensional (3D) spheroids have been shown to more closely mimic the complex microenvironment of an in vivo tumour, these models may overcome the aforementioned discrepancies. We aim to develop novel 3D micro-gravity spheroid-based cancer models to investigate drug resistance. This is done with different small cell lung cancer (SCLC) cell lines with varying levels of efflux transporters, which are known to be frequently involved in drug resistance mechanisms. Each of these models is validated through comparison of standard anticancer drug efficacy to published in vivo or clinical findings. Our main application of these models, currently, is investigating the potential of traditional herbal medicines to reduce or overcome efflux transporter-based drug resistance in SCLC.