Research to identify new anticancer drugs is currently facing significant challenges, as only 5% of compounds that show efficacy in pre-clinical development go on to become licensed drugs. Traditionally 2D cell culture models have been employed to evaluate drug candidates in the early phases of the drug discovery process, however, there is increasing evidence that cells grown in 2D monolayers do not accurately reflect the biological complexity of tumours.
The requirement for better in-vitro models that are compatible with high-throughput screening campaigns has led to the development of 3D cell cultures models, especially muliticellular spheroids, which retain many of the morphological and genetic traits of tumours. Here we describe the formation of such spheroids on ultra-low attachment plates and colonies in semi-solid agarose. Both methods are compatible with 96- and 384-well microplate formats.