Overcoming the challenges of understanding and treating cancer requires reliable patient-derived models of cancer (PDMCs). For decades, cancer research and therapeutic development relied primarily on cancer cell lines because of their prevalence, reproducibility, and simplicity to maintain. However, findings from research conducted in cell lines are rarely recapitulated in vivo and seldom directly translatable to patients. The tumor microenvironment (TME), tumor-stromal interactions, and associations with host immune cells produce profound changes in tumor phenotype and complexity not captured in traditional monolayer cell culture. In this chapter, we present various cancer explant models and discuss their applicability based on specific research aims. We discuss the appropriateness of these models for basic science questions, drug screening/development, and for personalized, precision medicine. We also consider logistical factors such as resource cost, technical difficulty, and accessibility. We finish this chapter with a practical guide intended to help the reader select the cancer explant model system(s) that best address their research aims.