MCF-7 Xenograft Model

Discover how Melior’s unique phenotypic screening platforms can uncover the untapped value of your candidate therapeutic

In women, breast cancer is by far the most common form of cancer and the second most lethal. First-line treatments include surgery and radiation. For breast cancers that are hormone receptor-positive or HER2-positive (80-85%), there is also a wide range of pharmacological approaches to combat the disease. For those tumor types that are estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2 negative (triple negative breast cancer; TNBC), treatment choices are more limited and the prognosis is more severe. Still, TNBC can be responsive to chemotherapeutic approaches, and to a lesser extent to immunotherapy approaches as with checkpoint inhibition. With its high incidence and significant proportion of tumor types, which are refractory to advanced treatments, there remains a high unmet medical need for improved pharmacological treatments of some types of breast cancer. Melior’s breast cancer models are an important tool ready to support scientists toward this goal.

Melior has established a xenograft breast cancer mouse model that uses the human MCF-7 cell line to complement our syngeneic breast cancer model which uses the mouse EMT-6 cell line. MCF-7 cells are epithelial cells isolated from the breast tissue of a 69-year-old female patient with metastatic adenocarcinoma. The MCF-7 xenograft model is conducted in nude mice (athymic; substantially lacking T cells) and is suitable for investigating cytotoxic therapeutic candidates and other non-immune modulating approaches towards tumor therapy.

Chemotherapy validation of human breast heterotopic MCF-7 xenograft model. The MCF-7 tumor model was created by subcutaneously injecting 1 x107 MCF-7 cells (in Matrigel) into the rear flank of the nude mice. Once the tumor size reached ~100mm3 (Day 11), mice were randomized into groups and treated with vehicle control (normal saline) or paclitaxel (20 mg/kg, IP once/week). Tumor volume was monitored twice per week using calipers (A). At the end of the study (Day 56), animals were sacrificed, tumors were excised and weighed (B, C). Data area mean ± SEM. n=5/group. * P<0.05, ** P<0.01 *** P<0.001 by Student’s t-test.

Growth kinetic monitoring of human orthotopic breast tumors in an MCF-7 xenograft model. The orthotopic MCF-7 xenograft tumor model was created by orthotopically injecting 1 x106 MCF-7-Luc2 (an MCF-7 cell that carries a stable insertion of the firefly luciferase gene) cells (in Matrigel) into the mammary fat pad of athymic nude mice(nu/J). Tumor growth was monitored at 1,3, and 5 weeks after injection by IVIS imaging system.

Melior can initiate your MCF-7 tumor model study with very short lead times and with bespoke study design to suit your needs. Including time to establish tumor-bearing mice (1-2 weeks) and typical treatment times (6 weeks) these studies normally run for approximately 8 weeks. The MCF-7-Luc2 variant cell line is suitable for IVIS bioluminescent imaging of tumors which in turn can be used to quantify orthoptic (mammary pad) tumors or metastatic tumors.