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Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are widely used as a standard treatment regimen for many cancers. However, resistance to the standard treatment regimens usually occurs for several malignant tumors. Thus, searching for novel anticancer agents with high therapeutic effectiveness and less side effects is urgently needed. However, there are several evidences suggesting that two-dimensional (2D) cell culture models cannot recapitulate key characteristics of in-vivo tumor and do not provide in-vivo and clinically relevant data for anti-cancer drug discovery and development. Therefore, three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models have been developed. Cultured cells under 3D cell culture models provide several aspects of in-vivo solid tumor and offer better in-vitro models for anti-cancer drug screening and validation. This review article will clarify the limitations of 2D cell culture models and application of 3D cell culture models as a better in-vitro models for cancer research. Including, application 3D cell culture models in chemo- and radiotherapy drug testing, cancer metastasis, cancer stem cell and cancer metabolisms.
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