Tumor-on-a-chip for metastasis study: closer to precision medicine

J Ruiz-Espigares(1) G Jiménez(1) J A Marchal(1)

1:Universidad de Granada

For decades, numerous studies have been carried out to generate a mimetic model for the study of metastasis, the main reason for most cancer deaths, to resolve the unknowns surrounding this disease. To better understand this process of cell dissemination, more realistic models capable of faithfully recreating the tumor microenvironment (TME) completely are needed. Therefore, new tools known as tumor-on-a-chip and metastasis-on-a-chip have recently been proposed. These tools incorporate microfluidic systems and small culture chambers in which the TME can be faithfully recreated thanks to 3D bioprinting. In this work, a literature review has been carried out on the different phases of metastasis, the unknowns that remain for its complete understanding, and the use of new models for the study of this disease. The aim is to provide an overview of the current landscape and the great potential of these tumor-on-a-chip systems for in vitro translational research into the molecular basis of this pathology. In addition, these models will allow progress towards personalized medicine by generating chips from patient samples that mimic the original tumor and the metastatic process in order to perform an accurate pharmacological screening and establish the most appropriate treatment protocol.