Engineering Tools for Regulating Hypoxia in Tumour Models
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Major advances in the field of genomic technologies have led to an improvement in cancer diagnosis, classification and prognostication. However, many cancers remain incurable due to the development of drug resistance, minimal residual disease (MRD) and disease relapse, highlighting an incomplete understanding of the mechanisms underlying these processes. In recent years, the impact of non-genetic factors on neoplastic transformations has increasingly been acknowledged, and growing evidence suggests that low oxygen (O2) levels (ie hypoxia) in the tumour microenvironment play a critical role in the development and treatment of cancer. As a result, there is a growing need to develop research tools capable of reproducing physiologically relevant O2 conditions encountered by cancer cells in their natural environments in order to gain in-depth insight into tumour cell metabolism and function. In this review, the authors highlight the importance of hypoxia in the pathogenesis of malignant diseases and provide an overview of novel engineering tools that have the potential to further drive this evolving, yet technically challenging, field of cancer research.