Three-dimensional co-culture models to study prostate cancer growth, progression, and metastasis to bone

Ruoxiang Wang, Jianchun Xu, Lisa Juliette, Agapito Castilleja, John Love, Shian Ying Sung, Haiyen E. Zhau, Thomas J. Goodwin, Leland W K Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer-stromal interaction results in the co-evolution of both the cancer cells and the surrounding host stromal cells. As a consequence of this interaction, cancer cells acquire increased malignant potential and stromal cells become more inductive. In this review we suggest that cancer-stromal interaction can best be investigated by three-dimensional (3D) co-culture models with the results validated by clinical specimens. We showed that 3D culture promoted bone formation in vitro, and explored for the first time, with the help of the astronauts of the Space Shuttle Columbia, the co-culture of human prostate cancer and bone cells to further understand the interactions between these cells. Continued exploration of cancer growth under 3D conditions will rapidly lead to new discoveries and ultimately to improvements in the treatment of men with hormonal refractory prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-364
Number of pages12
JournalSeminars in Cancer Biology
Issue number5 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-Dimensional cell culture
  • Bone mineralization
  • Cancer metastasis
  • Cancer-stromal interaction
  • Epithelial to mesenchymal transition
  • Prostate cancer bone metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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