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Table 3 Main features of the most common spheroid models used in preclinical cancer research

From: Modeling neoplastic disease with spheroids and organoids

Spheroid models Cells of origin Culture medium Culture method References
Multicellular tumor spheroids (MTS) Established cancer cell lines Conventional medium supplemented with serum Non-adherent conditions [87]
Multicellular tumor-derived spheroids (MTDS) Cancer cells derived from dissociated tumor tissue Medium without serum supplemented with growth factors (e.g., FGF2, EGF) Non-adherent conditions
Pre-sorting of specific cancer cell populations
[91]
Heterotypic spheroids Cancer cells mixed with stromal cells and/or immune cells Conventional medium supplemented with serum Non-adherent conditions
Physiological ratio cancer:stromal/ immune cells to mimic clinical tumors
[105,106,107]