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Towards an advanced cell-based in vitro glioma model system

1 Center for Genomic and Regenerative Medicine, School of Biomedicine, Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russian Federation
2 Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine of the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
3 Federal Scientific Center of the East Asia Terrestrial Biodiversity FEB RAS 159, Stoletij Vladivostoku Avenue, 690022, Vladivostok, Russian Federation

Special Issues: Future of Biomedicine 2017

The modulation of tumor growth and development in vitro has always been one of the key factors in the research of the malignant transformation, including gliomas, prevalent and most deadly cancers of the brain. Indeed, cellular and molecular biology research employing in vitro model cell-based systems have great potential to advance both the mechanistic understanding and the treatment of human glial tumors, as it facilitates not only the understanding of glioma biology and its regulatory mechanisms Additionally they promise to afford the screening of the putative anti-tumor agents and alternative treatment approaches in a personalized manner, i.e. by virtue of using the patient-derived tumor material for such tests. However, in order to become reliable and representative, glioma model systems need to move towards including most inherent cancer features such as local hypoxia, specific genetic aberrations, native tumor microenvironment, and the three-dimensional extracellular matrix.
This review starts with a brief introduction on the general epidemiological and molecular characteristics of gliomas followed by an overview of the cell-based in vitro models currently used in glioma research. As a conclusion, we suggest approaches to move to innovative cell-based in vitro glioma models. We consider that main criteria for selecting these approaches should include the adequate resemblance to the key in vivo characteristics, robustness, cost-effectiveness and ease to use, as well as the amenability to high throughput handling to allow the standardized drug screening.
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