Fibroblast inhibitors assist anti-cancer drugs to suppress cancer growth

March 29, 2023
3D cell culture system makes promising tool for preclinical drug testing and developing treatments for solid tumors.

In APL Bioengineering, by AIP Publishing, researchers from Academia Sinica, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, National Taiwan University Hospital, and National Taiwan University developed a 3D cell culture system to test how inhibiting fibroblast activities can help treat lung cancer. They found that combining the anti-fibrotic drug nintedanib with the anti-cancer drug cisplatin increased the efficacy of the latter.

To simulate the tumor microenvironment and mimic real tissues, the team co-cultured lung cancer cells and fibroblasts in a 3D matrix. The cancer cells formed a spheroid, around which the fibroblasts were randomly distributed.

The researchers tested the anti-cancer drug cisplatin with and without two anti-fibrotic drugs, nintedanib and pirfenidone. They measured indicators of tumor growth and invasiveness, finding that nintedanib improved the anti-cancer efficacy of cisplatin. Pirfenidone did not show a similar effect.

American Institute of Physics release on Newswise