Advances in cancer research have shown that a tumor can be likened to a foreign spe-cies that disrupts delicately balanced ecological interactions, compromising the survival of normal tissue ecosystems. In efforts to mitigate tumor expansion and metastasis, experimental approaches from ecology are becoming more frequently and successfully applied by researchers from diverse disciplines to reverse engineer and re-engineer biological systems in order to normalize the tumor ecosystem. We present a review on the use of 3D biomimetic platforms to recapitulate biotic and abiotic components of the tumor ecosystem, in efforts to delineate the underlying mechanisms that drive evolution of tumor heterogeneity, tumor dissemination, and acquisition of drug resistance.
Kim, J., & Tanner, K. (2015). Recapitulating the Tumor Ecosystem Along the Metastatic Cascade Using 3D Culture Models. Frontiers in Oncology, 5. https://doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2015.00170