3D mammary gland ‘organoid’ could enable better understanding of breast cancer

Lead researcher

Dr Thierry Jarde

Main finding

We have succeeded in creating a three dimensional mammary gland model that will pave the way for a better understanding of the mechanisms of breast cancer.


Centre for Cancer Research


Dr Bethan Lloyd-Lewis
Dr Mairian Thomas
Mr Howard Kendrick
Dr Lorenzo Melchor
Dr Lauriane Bougaret
Dr Peter Watson
Dr Kenneth Ewan
Dr Matthew Smalley
Prof Trevor Dale

Journal and article title

Most surprising

Using a cocktail of growth factors, we were able to grow mouse mammary cells into three dimensional mammary tissue – the first of its kind to be developed in a laboratory. Known as an ‘organoid’, the model mimics the structure and function of a real mammary gland.

Future implications

Our 3D breast model enables researchers to increase their understanding of how breast tissue develops, and provides an active model for the study of disease and drug screening.

Disease/health impact

Breast cancer