Introduction: Recent studies suggested that extracellular vesicles (EVs) play a role both in the metastatic niche formation and in the progression of several tumors, including pancreatic cancer. In particular, the effects of EVs on metastasis should be studied in model systems that take into account both the tumor cells and the metastatic site/tumor microenvironment. Studies with labeled EVs or EV-secreting cells in ex vivo models will reflect the physiological and pathological functions of EVs. The organotypic-tissue slide culture systems can fulfill such a role. Areas covered: This review provides an overview of available organotypic-culture slide systems. We specifically focus on the assay system of liver culture-slides in combination with pancreatic tumors, which can be modulated to test the efficacy of new therapeutic approaches. Expert opinion: The intercellular exchange of EVs has emerged as a biologically relevant phenomenon to drive cancer metastasis. However, further models need to be developed to better elucidate the functional roles of EVs. The use of novel organotypic slide culture systems provides the opportunity to explore the role of EVs in the metastatic behavior of pancreatic cancer, decreasing the use of costly and cumbersome organoid or animal models.
- Extracellular vesicles
- organotypic-tissue slide culture systems
- pancreatic cancer
- preclinical models
- tumor microenvironment