A recent study from the Liverpool Ocular Oncology Research Group explains the importance of the innovative way uveal melanoma cells are studied in the laboratory.

Three-dimensional spheroid Model of Uveal Melanoma

 

A recent study from the Liverpool Ocular Oncology Research Group explains the importance of the innovative way uveal melanoma cells are studied in the laboratory.


Traditionally, when uveal melanoma cells are studied in the laboratory, scientists and clinicians use specific dishes to grow the cancer cells obtained from the tumour. So far, in the setting of uveal melanoma, these dishes allowed the cancer cells to grow in a flat manner (designed in scientific terms as in a “monolayer culture” or in a “two-dimensional way”). However, when the cancer cells are inside the body, they grow in multiple directions, making a mass that has volume and, in some cases, can push other neighbouring structures (like the retina).

 

The Liverpool Ocular Oncology Group has developed a model that allows to study cells from uveal melanoma, as well as normal choroidal melanocytes (the cells that when specific alterations occur give rise to uveal melanoma cells), in the laboratory, in a more equal way which the tumour would behave in the human body.

 

This new model will be useful not only to better understand how uveal melanoma grows but also will have a great impact in testing new drugs and understanding the metastatic process (when the tumour spreads to other organs, like the liver).