How inclusive are cell lines in preclinical engineered cancer models? Academic Article uri icon


  • Diverse factors contribute to significant and dire disparities in cancer risk and treatment outcomes. To address this, there was a call for inclusion of sex as a biological variable, which resulted in more instances of careful inclusion of sex in preclinical studies of cancer. Another variable in cancer treatment is genetic ancestry. Although this is considered explicitly in clinical research, it is considerably neglected in preclinical studies. Preclinical research can use several 3D in vitro model systems, such as spheroids/organoids, xenografts, or other bioengineered systems that combine biomaterials and cellular material. Ultimately, the cellular base for all of these in vitro model systems is derived from human cell lines or patient samples, to investigate mechanisms of cancer and screen novel therapeutics, all of which aim to maximize successful outcomes in clinical trials. This in itself offers an opportunity to potentiate effective treatments for many groups of people, when diverse variables like genetic ancestry are consciously included into study design. This Perspective highlights the need for conscious inclusion of genetic ancestry in preclinical cancer tissue engineering, especially when it pertains to determining therapeutic outcomes.

published proceedings

  • Dis Model Mech

altmetric score

  • 2.95

author list (cited authors)

  • Raghavan, S.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Raghavan, Shreya

publication date

  • January 2022