The lung is an organ heavily involved in cancer as both the origin of lung cancer and where metastases from tumours
originating in other organs develop. Therefore, it is obvious that the interaction between cancer cells and lung tissue
plays a role in cancer development, invasion, and/or growth. Out of all the components of the lung's extracellular matrix,
elastin fragmentation products, the so-called elastin peptides, have been associated with tumour growth and invasion.
Therefore, we studied using a 3D model whether elastin peptides could increase the proliferative activity of lung cancer
cells. To this purpose, we grew lung cancer cells in collagen type I 3D models and used Optical Coherence Tomography
to study lung cancer cells growth in the absence and presence of elastin peptides in real-time and at different time-points
for each specimen. Our work shows that the addition of elastin peptides to lung cancer cells increased not only the size
of the cancer cell clusters in 3D models but also the number of these clusters. This work demonstrates that, using OCT,
the effects of extracellular matrix components on cancer cells can be characterised in 3D models. The biomedical
applications of this methodology can be extended to other systems.