Urological cancers are common malignant cancers worldwide, with annually increasing morbidity and mortality rates. For decades, two-dimensional cell cultures and animal models have been widely used to study the development and underlying molecular mechanisms of urological cancers. However, they either fail to reflect cancer heterogeneity or are time-consuming and labour-intensive. The recent emergence of a three-dimensional culture model called organoid has the potential to overcome the shortcomings of traditional models. For example, organoids can recapitulate the histopathological and molecular diversity of original cancer and reflect the interaction between cancer and surrounding cells or stroma by simulating tumour microenvironments. Emerging evidence suggests that urine-derived organoids can be generated, which could be a novel non-invasive liquid biopsy method that provides new ideas for clinical precision therapy. However, the current research on organoids has encountered some bottlenecks, such as the lack of a standard culture process, the need to optimize the culture medium and the inability to completely simulate the immune system in vivo. Nonetheless, cell co-culture and organoid-on-a-chip have significant potential to solve these problems. In this review, the latest applications of organoids in drug screening, cancer origin investigation and combined single-cell sequencing are illustrated. Furthermore, the development and application of organoids in urological cancers and their challenges are summarised.
Urological cancer organoids, patients' avatars for precision medicine: past, present and future
- Category: Publications