Tumoroids are 3D in vitro models that recapitulate key features of in vivo tumors, such as their architecture — hypoxic center and oxygenated outer layer — in contrast with traditional 2D cell cultures. Moreover, they may be able to preserve the patient-specific signature in terms of cell heterogeneity and mutations. Tumoroids are, therefore, interesting tools for improving the understanding of cancer biology, developing new drugs, and potentially designing personalized therapeutic plans.
Currently, tumoroids are most often established using basement membrane extracts (BME), which provide a multitude of biological cues. However, BME are characterized by a lack of well-defined composition, limited reproducibility, and potential immunogenicity as a consequence of their natural origin. Synthetic polymers can overcome these problems but lack structural and biochemical complexity, which can limit the functional capabilities of organoids. Biohybrid hydrogels consisting of both natural and synthetic components can combine their advantages and offer superior 3D culture systems. In this review, it is summarized efforts devoted to producing tumoroids using different types of biohybrid hydrogels, which are classified according to their crosslinking mechanism.