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Xenografts models of cancer involve the transplantation of human cancer cell line (CDX) or patient deprived tumors (PDX) into an immunodeficient or humanized mouse. PDX and CDX models are used to create an environment that allows for the natural growth of human cancer, its monitoring, and corresponding treatment evaluations of the original human cancer type. Many xenograft models have been successfully established for breast, prostate, colorectal, lung, and many other cancers because there are distinctive advantages when using xenografts. PDX models allow for the propagation and expansion of patient tumors without significant genetic transformation of tumor cells over multiple murine generations. Within PDX models, patient tumor samples grow in physiologically-relevant tumor microenvironments that mimic the oxygen, nutrient, and hormone levels that are found in the patient’s primary tumor site. Furthermore, implanted tumor tissue maintains the genetic and epigenetic abnormalities found in the patient. As a result, numerous studies have found that PDX models exhibit similar response to anti-cancer agents as seen in the actual patient who provided the tumor sample.
Xenograph Tumor models are most commonly conducted in immune compromised mice. A variety of human tumorigenic cell lines can be used depending upon the study objectives. In addition to tumor volume a variety of additional physiological parameters and biomarkers, such as cytokine levels, can be incorporated into the study design. Study durations can range from 2 weeks to several months.