The recent cataloging of the genomic aberrations in breast cancer has revealed the diversity and complexity of the disease at the genetic level. To unravel the functional consequences of specific repertoires of mutations and copy number changes on signaling pathways in breast cancer, it is crucial to develop model systems that truly recapitulate the disease. Here we discuss the three-dimensional culture models currently being used or recently developed for the study of normal mammary epithelial cells and breast cancer, including primary tumors and dormancy. We discuss the insights gained from these models in regards to cell signaling and potential therapeutic strategies, and the challenges that need to be met for the generation of heterotypic breast cancer model systems that are amenable for high-throughput approaches. © 2014.
Weigelt, B., Ghajar, C. M., & Bissell, M. J. (2014). The need for complex 3D culture models to unravel novel pathways and identify accurate biomarkers in breast cancer. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews. Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addr.2014.01.001