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Biomimetic Tissue Engineered Systems for Advancing Cancer Research

Biomimetic Tissue Engineered Systems for Advancing Cancer Research

Executive Summary

Building on great progress at the convergence of physical sciences and oncology, workshop participants envision the development of new research areas centered on harnessing biomimetic systems used in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to advance cancer research. 

Recapitulation of tumors and their context in vitro has been a challenge for cancer researchers. Notable advances have been made in cancer biology with 3D culture systems using biomimetic and natural biomaterials, microfluidic devices, and co-cultures. However, further technological developments must be achieved in order to create dynamic in vitro model systems that include multiple cellular, chemical, and physical parameters, all of which are important players in cancer biology. 

The field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine has made advances in developing in vitro and ex vivo model systems to recreate tissues and their microenvironment. 

This workshop assessed the next steps for developing tissue engineered systems for cancer research and to determine what type of infrastructure or funding support may be required to advance current technologies



7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Security and Registration
8:00 a.m. - 8:05 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks
Dinah Singer, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute
8:05 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. Introduction and Goals of Workshop
Nastaran Kuhn, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute
8:15 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. Keynote Presentation: From Cancer Biomechanics to Human Organ-on-Chip Disease Models
Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D.
Wyss Institute,
Harvard University
8:45 a.m. - 10:25 a.m. Session I: Vascularized Tissue Engineered Systems for Cancer Research
Scribe: Xin Yi Chan, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

8:45 a.m. - 8:50 a.m. Introduction by Session Moderator
Sharon Gerecht, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University

8:50 a.m. - 9:10 a.m. Vascularizing Engineered Tumor Tissue in Vitro
Steven George, MD., Ph.D.
University of California, Irvine

9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Engineering Realistic Microvessel Tumor Systems for Studying Metastasis
Christopher Chen, M.D., Ph.D.
Boston University

9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m. Bioengineering of Tissue Models for Cancer and Metastasis Research
Shay Soker, Ph.D.
Wake Forest School of Medicine

9:50 a.m. - 10:25 a.m. Panel Questions and Discussion
Panel: Donald Ingber, Steven George, Christopher Chen, Shay Soker
Moderated by Sharon Gerecht

10:25 a.m. - 10:40 a.m. Break
10:40 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Session II: Biomimetic Systems to Probe the Cancer Physical Microenvironment
Scribe: Ioannis Zervantonakis, Ph.D., Harvard University
12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Lunch
12:35 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Poster Viewing in Terrace Room TE406
  1. David Beebe, Ph.D., Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research
    Microscale in vitro Models Enable Cancer Research and Translation
  2. Jennifer Elisseeff, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
    The Independent Roles of Mechanical, Structural and Adhesion Characteristics of 3D Hydrogels on the Regulation of Cancer Invasion and Dissemination
  3. Cynthia Reinhart-King, Ph.D., Cornell University
    Tissue-Engineered Models of Follow-the-Leader Metastatic Migration
  4. Laura Suggs, Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin
    Dynamically Tunable Gels to Probe the Influence of Stiffness on Tumor Progression
  5. Min Kim, M.D., Weill Cornell Medical College, Houston Methodist
    Tumor Cells in the Circulating Media of the 4D Model Mimics the Circulating Tumor Cell Biology
  6. Lance Munn, Ph.D., Harvard University
    Biomimetic Microsystems for Neovascularization and Cell Sorting
  7. Shannon Mumenthaler, Ph.D., University of Southern California
    A Bioengineered Liver Tissue platform for studying cancer Metastasis
  8. Meenakshi Upreti, Ph.D. , University of Kentucky
    The Tumor Microenvironment and 3-D Tumor Models: Implications in Biology and Therapy
1:15 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Keynote Presentation: Integrating Systems Biology and Tissue Engineering for Models of Cancer Dormancy and Drug Efficacy
Linda Griffith, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Session III: Correlation of Molecular Phenotypes and Tissue Function with Biomimetic Systems
Scribe: Aranzazu Villasante, Ph.D., Columbia University

1:45 p.m. - 1:50 p.m. Introduction by Session Moderator
Michael Shuler, Ph.D.
Cornell University

1:50 p.m. - 2:10 p.m. Tumor Engineering: Lessons from Regenerative Medicine
Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Ph.D.
Columbia University

2:10 p.m. -2:30 p.m. Drug Sensitivity of Ewing Sarcoma Cells in 3D Biomimetic Substrates
Joseph Ludwig, M.D.
MD Anderson Cancer Center

2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. Screening of Novel CRC Loci from Genome-scale Cancer Surveys in a Primary Colon Organoid System
Calvin Kuo, M.D., Ph.D.
Stanford University

2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m. Identifying Molecular Markers of Breast Epithelial Dissemination using Engineered Microenvironment Systems
Andrew Ewald, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University

3:10 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Panel Questions and Discussion Session
Panel: Linda Griffith, Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Joseph Ludwig, Calvin Kuo, Andrew Ewald
Moderated by Michael Shuler

3:45 p.m. - 4:05 p.m. Break
4:05 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Breakout Discussions
Moderator: Larry Nagahara, Ph.D., National Cancer Institute

Joyce Chen, Cornell University
Kyungmin Ji, Wayne State University
Kyung Min Park, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
Alireza Roshan Ghias, Ph.D., Columbia University
Teresa Schuessler, M.S., National Cancer Institute
Pallavi Sethi, Ph.D., University of Kentucky
Archana Thakur, Ph.D., Wayne State University
Xi Tian, Ph.D., University of North Carolina

  • Identify 3 outstanding cancer research questions that can be addressed with biomimetic tissue engineered systems
  • Identify 1 or more technological advancements needed to advance the field
  • Identify the "ideal team" for applying tissue engineering tools to cancer research
4:45 p.m. - 5:25 p.m. Breakout Summaries
Moderator: Larry Nagahara, Ph.D., National Cancer Institute
5:25 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Closing Remarks
Nastaran Kuhn, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute

Workshop Report

Summary in Cancer ResearchBiomimetic Tissue–Engineered Systems for Advancing Cancer Research: NCI Strategic Workshop Report

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