Two-dimensional (2D) culture of cancer cells in vitro does not recapitulate the three-dimensional (3D) architecture, heterogeneity and complexity of human tumors. More representative models are required that better reflect key aspects of tumor biology. These are essential studies of cancer biology and immunology as well as for target validation and drug discovery. The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) consortium PREDECT (www.predect.eu) characterized in vitro models of three solid tumor types with the goal to capture elements of tumor complexity and heterogeneity. 2D culture and 3D mono-and stromal co-cultures of increasing complexity, and precision-cut tumor slice models were established. Robust protocols for the generation of these platforms are described. Tissue microarrays were prepared from all the models, permitting immunohistochemical analysis of individual cells, capturing heterogeneity. 3D cultures were also characterized using image analysis. Detailed step-by-step protocols, exemplary datasets from the 2D, 3D, and slice models, and refined analytical methods were established and are presented.