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Cancer Tissue Engineering Collaborative

The Cancer Tissue Engineering Collaborative (TEC) Research Program supports the development and characterization of state-of-the-art biomimetic tissue-engineered technologies for cancer research. Collaborative, multidisciplinary projects that engage the fields of regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, biomaterials, and bioengineering with cancer biology will be essential for generating novel experimental models that mimic cancer pathophysiology to elucidate specific cancer phenomena that are otherwise difficult to examine in vivo.

The Cancer TEC Research Program will catalyze the advancement of innovative, well characterized in vitro and ex vivo systems available for cancer research, expand the breadth of these systems to several cancer types, and promote the exploration of cancer phenomena with biomimetic tissue-engineered systems.

History of TEC

Three workshops have been sponsored by the NCI to assess the status of tissue-engineered systems in cancer and to identify gaps.   In April 2012, a Physical Sciences – Oncology Network (PS-ON) workshop was held to discuss areas where physical sciences principles from tissue engineering and developmental biology could open new avenues in cancer research. Participants highlighted the need for development of synthetic in vitro and ex vivo engineered systems to better probe key factors in tissues and their microenvironment important in cancer. The consensus of the participants was that these factors could be best studied in physiologically relevant and controlled tissue-engineered systems.  

To further explore the status of tissue-engineered technologies in cancer, a second targeted PS-ON workshop on Biomimetic Tissue Engineered Systems for Advancing Cancer Research was held in February 2014. The workshop highlighted examples of how tissue-engineered technologies are currently being applied to cancer research to study angiogenesis, migration, and therapeutic resistance. Workshop participants identified areas for future focus based on existing research and gaps in cancer biology.  

Finally, in April 2015, a joint workshop was held with the National Science Foundation on Additive Manufacturing for Tumor Engineering. The workshop highlighted several barriers to constructing tissue-engineered systems for cancer research, including the need for their robust pathophysiological characterization. Participants recommended the formation of multidisciplinary partnerships to construct and characterize tissue-engineered models of cancer. It was suggested that characterization of systems could include, but not be limited to, biological comparisons of in vivo and clinical datasets.

  • PAR-19-113 - Cancer Tissue Engineering Collaborative: Enabling Biomimetic Tissue-Engineered Technologies for Cancer Research (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)
  • Slides from the pre-application webinar for PAR-19-113
  • FAQs from TEC funding opportunity announcements

Funded Projects

Institution Principal Investigators Project Title
Boston University Drs. Joe Tien and Celeste Nelson Engineered Invasive Human Breast Tumors with Integrated Capillaries and Lymphatics
Brigham and Women’s Hospital Drs. Ali Khademhosseini and Shiladitya Sengupta Engineering Personalized Micro-Tumor Ecosystems
Cleveland Clinic Drs. Emina Huang, Xiling Shen, and Michael Shuler An Organotypic Model Recapitulating Colon Cancer Microenvironment and Metastasis
Columbia University Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic Cancer Patient on a Chip
Harvard University Drs. David Mooney, Jennifer Lewis, and F. Stephen Hodi 3D Models of Immunotherapy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Drs. Roger Kamm and David Barbie  Development of Physiologic Tissue Models to Assess Tumor Explant Response to Immune Checkpoint Blockade
University of Arizona Drs. Cynthia Miranti and Yitshak Zohar Bioengineered Prostate-on-Chip: Mechanisms of Stromal Dysregulation in Prostate Cancer
University of California, Los Angeles Dr. Stephanie Seidlits Tissue-Engineered Models of Microvessel-Mediated Glioblastoma Invasion
University of California, San Francisco Drs. Manish K. Aghi and Sanjay Kumar Modeling and Druggable-Genome Screening of Glioblastoma Invasion Using Regional Biopsy-Guided Biomaterials Systems
University of Chicago Dr. Melody Swartz Probing Cellular, Molecular and Biomechanical Barriers to Immunotherapy in the Tumor Microenvironment with Organotypic In Vitro Models of the Tumor-Lympho-Immune Interface
University of Illinois Drs. Joanna E. Burdette and Jonathan Coppeta Dynamic Interactions of the Ovarian-Fallopian Axis in High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Dr. Brendan Harley Perivascular Tissue Models to Overcome MGMT-Mediated Temozolomide Resistance in Glioblastoma
University of Miami Drs. Daniel Pelaez and William Harbour 3-Dimensional Retinal Organoid Platform for the Study of Retinoblastoma
University of New South Wales Drs. Kristopher Kilian and John Copland Microtumor Arrays for the Development of Combination Therapies
University of Pittsburgh Dr. Shilpa Sant Three-Dimensional Organoid Models to Study Breast Cancer Progression
University of Southern California Dr. Shannon Mumenthaler A Microengineered Colon Cancer-Chip to Investigate Tumor-Stromal Interactions
University of Wisconsin Drs. Pamela Kreeger, Kristyn Masters, and Paul Campagnola Engineered ECM Platforms to Analyze Progression in High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer
Vanderbilt University Dr. Michael King Enabling Technology to Study Mechanosensitive and Mechanoresistant Cancer Cells in Flow
Yale University Rong Fan, Ph.D.  and  Jiangbing Zhou, Ph.D. Ex Vivo Analysis of Human Brain Tumor Cells in a Microvascular Niche Model
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