Preparation and application of patient-derived xenograft mice model of colorectal cancer

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Colorectal and Anal Surgery, Shanxi Province Cancer Hospital/Shanxi Hospital Affiliated to Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences/Cancer Hospital Affiliated to Shanxi Medical University, 030013, Taiyuan, Shanxi, China

2 Laboratory Animal Center, Shanxi Province Cancer Hospital/Shanxi Hospital Affiliated to Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences/Cancer Hospital Affiliated to Shanxi Medical University, 030013, Taiyuan, Shanxi, China

3 Department of Pathology, Shanxi Province Cancer Hospital/Shanxi Hospital Affiliated to Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences/Cancer Hospital Affiliated to Shanxi Medical University, 030013, Taiyuan, Shanxi, China


Objective(s): Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model becomes a more and more important tool for tumor research. This study aimed to establish a colorectal cancer PDX model and verify its applicability.
Materials and Methods: Fresh human colorectal cancer tissue was surgically removed and subcutaneously inoculated into immunodeficient mice to establish the PDX model. Hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining and immunohistochemical staining were used to evaluate the model. The successful PDX model was selected to study the efficacy of capecitabine in treating colorectal cancer. 
Results: HE staining showed that the PDX mice model of colorectal cancer could preserve the histological characteristics of the primary tumor. Immunohistochemistry staining showed α-fetoprotein (AFP), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), and E-cadherin were strongly positively expressed in primary human and PDX tumor tissues, with a high degree of similarity. Capecitabine significantly inhibited PDX tumor growth and reduced the expression of AFP and CEA proteins in the tumor tissues (all Ps<0.05). 
Conclusion: We successfully established a colorectal cancer PDX model, and the PDX model could retain the histological and biological characteristics of the primary tumor. Using this PDX model, we revealed that capecitabine at a dose of 300–400 mg/kg can effectively treat colorectal cancer, and no significant difference in toxicity was found among different dose groups. The current work provides a feasible framework for establishing and validating the PDX tumor model to better facilitate the evaluation of drug efficacy and safety.


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