Using Bioengineered 3D Models to Replicate the Tumour Microenvironment in Prostate Cancer

In cancers where adipocytes constitute a major component of the microenvironment, cancer cells are known to promote uncontrolled tumour growth. The hypothesis of this project is that this is also true and significant for castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) bone metastasis, due to the high adipocyte content in the bone marrow of patients with CRPC. This project will address this hypothesis by using established 3D in vitro and in vivo bone metastatic models, and add adipocytes, to study their effect on the prostate cancer-bone crosstalk and identify therapeutic targets.

The aims of the project are:

  1. Determine the functional impact of an adiposity-enriched 3D bone microenvironment on prostate cancer cell function and metastasis and vice versa, in vitro and in vivo.
  2. Pre-clinical screening of therapeutic drugs using a humanised bone metastatic niche in vivo.


Nathalie Bock APCRC-Q, IHBI, QUT, TRI


2015 - 2018


NHMRC Fellowship $309 436