Transcriptional dissection of pancreatic tumors engrafted in mice.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Engraftment of primary pancreas ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC) in mice to generate patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models is a promising platform for biological and therapeutic studies in this disease. However, these models are still incompletely characterized. Here, we measured the impact of the murine tumor environment on the gene expression of the engrafted human tumoral cells. METHODS: We have analyzed gene expression profiles from 35 new PDX models and compared them with previously published microarray data of 18 PDX models, 53 primary tumors and 41 cell lines from PDAC. The results obtained in the PDAC system were further compared with public available microarray data from 42 PDX models, 108 primary tumors and 32 cell lines from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We developed a robust analysis protocol to explore the gene expression space. In addition, we completed the analysis with a functional characterization of PDX models, including if changes were caused by murine environment or by serial passing. RESULTS: Our results showed that PDX models derived from PDAC, or HCC, were clearly different to the cell lines derived from the same cancer tissues. Indeed, PDAC- and HCC-derived cell lines are indistinguishable from each other based on their gene expression profiles. In contrast, the transcriptomes of PDAC and HCC PDX models can be separated into two different groups that share some partial similarity with their corresponding original primary tumors. Our results point to the lack of human stromal involvement in PDXs as a major factor contributing to their differences from the original primary tumors. The main functional differences between pancreatic PDX models and human PDAC are the lower expression of genes involved in pathways related to extracellular matrix and hemostasis and the up- regulation of cell cycle genes. Importantly, most of these differences are detected in the first passages after the tumor engraftment. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that PDX models of PDAC and HCC retain, to some extent, a gene expression memory of the original primary tumors, while this pattern is not detected in conventional cancer cell lines. Expression changes in PDXs are mainly related to pathways reflecting the lack of human infiltrating cells and the adaptation to a new environment. We also provide evidence of the stability of gene expression patterns over subsequent passages, indicating early phases of the adaptation process.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the most challenging type of cancer to treat, with a 5-year survival rate of <10%. Furthermore, because of the large portion of the inoperable cases, it is difficult to obtain specimens to study the biology of the tumors. Therefore, a patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model is an attractive option for preserving and expanding these tumors for translational research. Here we report the generation and characterization of 20 PDX models of PDAC. The success rate of the initial graft was 74% and most tumors were re-transplantable. Histological analysis of the PDXs and primary tumors revealed a conserved expression pattern of p53 and SMAD4; an exome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array and Comprehensive Cancer Panel showed that PDXs retained over 94% of cancer-associated variants. In addition, Polyphen2 and the Sorting Intolerant from Tolerant (SIFT) prediction identified 623 variants among the functional SNPs, highlighting the heterologous nature of pancreatic PDXs; an analysis of 409 tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes in Comprehensive Cancer Panel revealed heterologous cancer gene mutation profiles for each PDX-primary tumor pair. Altogether, we expect these PDX models are a promising platform for screening novel therapeutic agents and diagnostic markers for the detection and eradication of PDAC.
Project description:Engraftment of primary pancreas ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC) in mice to generate patient derived xenograft (PDX) models is a promising platform to for biological and therapeutic studies in this disease. However, these models are still incompletely characterized. Here, we measured the impact of the murine environment on the gene expression of the engrafted human tumoral cells. We have analyzed gene expression profiles from 35 new PDX models and compared them with previously published microarray data from PDAC and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Our results showed that PDX models derived from PDAC, or HCC, were clearly different to the cell lines derived from the same cancer tissues. Indeed, PDAC- and HCC-derived cell lines are indistinguishable one from the other based in their gene expression profiles. In contrast, the transcriptomes of PDAC and HCC PDX models are clearly different and more similar to their original tumor than to PDX models from the other tumor type. Interestingly, the main differences between pancreatic PDX models and human PDAC is the expression of genes involved in pathways related with extracellular matrix interactions and cell cycle regulation likely reflecting the adaptations of the tumors to the new environment. Furthermore, most of these differences are detected in the first passages after the tumor engraftment, indicating early phases of the adaptation process. In conclusion, different from conventional cancer cell lines, PDX models of PDAC retain similar gene expression profiles of PDAC. Expression changes are mainly related to genes involved in stromal pathways likely reflecting the adaptation to new environments. We also provide evidence of the stability of gene expression patterns over subsequent passages. We have analyzed gene expression profiles from 35 new PDX models and compared them with previously published in GEO microarray data. We used PDX models, primary tumors and cell lines from PDAC and hepatocellular carcinoma. All these public data were re-process in order to compare with our 35 samples
Project description:Despite advances in therapeutics, outcomes for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remain poor and there is an urgent need for efficacious systemic therapy. Unfortunately, drugs that are successful in preclinical studies often fail in the clinical setting, and we hypothesize that this is due to functional differences between primary tumors and commonly used preclinical models. In this study, we attempt to answer this question by comparing tumor morphology and gene expression profiles between primary tumors, xenografts and HCC cell lines.Hep G2 cell lines and tumor cells from patient tumor explants were subcutaneously (ectopically) injected into the flank and orthotopically into liver parenchyma of Mus Musculus SCID mice. The mice were euthanized after two weeks. RNA was extracted from the tumors, and gene expression profiling was performed using the Gene Chip Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0. Principal component analyses (PCA) and construction of dendrograms were conducted using Partek genomics suite.PCA showed that the commonly used HepG2 cell line model and its xenograft counterparts were vastly different from all fresh primary tumors. Expression profiles of primary tumors were also significantly divergent from their counterpart patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models, regardless of the site of implantation. Xenografts from the same primary tumors were more likely to cluster together regardless of site of implantation, although heat maps showed distinct differences in gene expression profiles between orthotopic and ectopic models.The data presented here challenges the utility of routinely used preclinical models. Models using HepG2 were vastly different from primary tumors and PDXs, suggesting that this is not clinically representative. Surprisingly, site of implantation (orthotopic versus ectopic) resulted in limited impact on gene expression profiles, and in both scenarios xenografts differed significantly from the original primary tumors, challenging the long-held notion that orthotopic PDX model is the gold standard preclinical model for HCC.
Project description:The lack of a general clinic-relevant model for human cancer is a major impediment to the acceleration of novel therapeutic approaches for clinical use. We propose to establish and characterize primary human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) xenografts that can be used to evaluate the cytotoxicity of adoptive chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and accelerate the clinical translation of CAR T cells used in HCC.Primary HCCs were used to establish the xenografts. The morphology, immunological markers, and gene expression characteristics of xenografts were detected and compared to those of the corresponding primary tumors. CAR T cells were adoptively transplanted into patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of HCC. The cytotoxicity of CAR T cells in vivo was evaluated.PDX1, PDX2, and PDX3 were established using primary tumors from three individual HCC patients. All three PDXs maintained original tumor characteristics in their morphology, immunological markers, and gene expression. Tumors in PDX1 grew relatively slower than that in PDX2 and PDX3. Glypican 3 (GPC3)-CAR T cells efficiently suppressed tumor growth in PDX3 and impressively eradicated tumor cells from PDX1 and PDX2, in which GPC3 proteins were highly expressed.GPC3-CAR T cells were capable of effectively eliminating tumors in PDX model of HCC. Therefore, GPC3-CAR T cell therapy is a promising candidate for HCC treatment.
Project description:Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) brain metastasis cell lines and in vivo models are not widely accessible. Herein we report on a direct-from patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model system of NSCLC brain metastases with genomic annotation useful for translational and mechanistic studies. Both heterotopic and orthotopic intracranial xenografts were established and RNA and DNA sequencing was performed on patient and matching tumors. Morphologically, strong retention of cytoarchitectural features was observed between original patient tumors and PDXs. Transcriptome and mutation analysis revealed high correlation between matched patient and PDX samples with more than more than 95% of variants detected being retained in the matched PDXs. PDXs demonstrated response to radiation, response to selumetinib in tumors harboring KRAS G12C mutations and response to savolitinib in a tumor with MET exon 14 skipping mutation. Savolitinib also demonstrated in vivo radiation enhancement in our MET exon 14 mutated PDX. Early passage cell strains showed high consistency between patient and PDX tumors. Together, these data describe a robust human xenograft model system for investigating NSCLC brain metastases. These PDXs and cell lines show strong phenotypic and molecular correlation with the original patient tumors and provide a valuable resource for testing preclinical therapeutics.
Project description:Advanced Epithelial Ovarian Cancer (EOC) patients frequently relapse by 24 months and develop resistant disease. Research on EOC therapies relies on cancer cell lines established decades ago making Patient Derived Xenografts (PDX) attractive models, because they are faithful representations of the original tumor. We established 35 ovarian cancer PDXs resulting from the original graft of 77 EOC samples onto immuno-compromised mice. PDXs covered the diversity of EOC histotypes and graft take was correlated with early patient death. Fourteen PDXs were characterized at the genetic and histological levels. PDXs reproduced phenotypic features of the ovarian tumors of origin and conserved the principal characteristics of the original copy number change (CNC) profiles over several passages. However, CNC fluctuations in specific subregions comparing the original tumor and the PDXs indicated the oligoclonal nature of the original tumors. Detailed analysis by CGH, FISH and exome sequencing of one case, for which several tumor nodules were sampled and grafted, revealed that PDXs globally maintained an oligoclonal structure. No overgrowth of a particular subclone present in the original tumor was observed in the PDXs. This suggested that xenotransplantation of ovarian tumors and growth as PDX preserved at least in part the clonal diversity of the original tumor. We believe our data reinforce the potential of PDX as exquisite tools in pre-clinical assays.
Project description:Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models are effective preclinical cancer models that reproduce the tumor microenvironment of the human body. The methods have been widely used for drug screening, biomarker development, co-clinical trials, and personalized medicine. However, the low success rate and the long tumorigenesis period have largely limited their usage. In the present studies, we compared the PDX establishment between hepatocellular cancer (HCC) and metastatic liver cancer (MLC), and identified the key factors affecting the transplantation rate of PDXs. Surgically resected tumor specimens obtained from patients were subcutaneously inoculated into immunodeficient mice to construct PDX models. The overall transplantation rate was 38.5% (20/52), with the HCC group (28.1%, 9/32) being lower than MLC group (56.2%, 9/16). In addition, HCC group took significantly longer latency period than MLC group to construct PDX models. Hematoxylin and eosin staining results showed that the histopathology of all generations in PDX models was similar to the original tumor in all three types of cancer. The transplantation rate of PDX models in HCC patients was significantly associated with blood type (P=0.001), TNM stage (P=0.023), lymph node metastasis (P=0.042) and peripheral blood CA19-9 level (P=0.049), while the transplantation rate of PDX models in MLC patients was significantly associated with tumor size (P=0.034). This study demonstrates that PDX models can effectively reproduce the histological patterns of human tumors. The transplantation rate depends on the type of original tumor. Furthermore, it shows that the invasiveness of the original liver cancer affects the possibility of its growth in immunodeficient mice.
Project description:While patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have been successfully generated from resected tissues, no reliable methods have been reported for the generation of PDXs from patients who are not candidates for resection and represent the vast majority of patients with HCC. Here we compare two methods for the creation of PDXs from HCC biopsies and find that implantation of whole biopsy samples without the addition of basement membrane matrix favors the formation of PDX tumors that resemble Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-driven B-cell lymphomas rather than HCC tumors. In contrast, implantation with Matrigel supports growth of HCC cells and leads to a high rate of HCC tumor formation from these biopsies. We validate the resulting PDXs, confirm their fidelity to the patients' disease and conclude that minimally invasive percutaneous liver biopsies can be used with relatively high efficiency to generate PDXs of HCC.
Project description:Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cancer in Europe and a leading cause of death worldwide. Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models maintain complex intratumoral biology and heterogeneity and therefore remain the platform of choice for translational drug discovery. In this study, we implanted 37 primary CRC tumors and five CRC cell lines into NU/J mice to develop xenograft models. Primary tumors and established xenografts were histologically assessed and surveyed for genetic variants and gene expression using a panel of 409 cancer-related genes and RNA-seq, respectively. More than half of CRC tumors (20 out of 37, 54%) developed into a PDX. Histological assessment confirmed that PDX grading, stromal components, inflammation, and budding were consistent with those of the primary tumors. DNA sequencing identified an average of 0.14 variants per gene per sample. The percentage of mutated variants in PDXs increased with successive passages, indicating a decrease in clonal heterogeneity. Gene Ontology analyses of 4180 differentially expressed transcripts (adj. p value < 0.05) revealed overrepresentation of genes involved in cell division and catabolic processes among the transcripts upregulated in PDXs; downregulated transcripts were associated with GO terms related to extracellular matrix organization, immune responses, and angiogenesis. Neither a transcriptome-based consensus molecular subtype (CMS) classifier nor three other predictors reliably matched PDX molecular subtypes with those of the primary tumors. In sum, both genetic and transcriptomic profiles differed between donor tumors and PDXs, likely as a consequence of subclonal evolution at the early phase of xenograft development, making molecular stratification of PDXs challenging.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model is likely to reflect human tumor biology more accurately than cultured cell lines because human tumors are implanted directly into animals; maintained in an in vivo, three-dimensional environment; and never cultured on plastic. PDX models of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have been developed previously but were not well characterized at the molecular level. HNSCC is a deadly and disfiguring disease for which better systemic therapy is desperately needed. The development of new therapies and the understanding of HNSCC biology both depend upon clinically relevant animal models. We developed and characterized the patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model because it is likely to recapitulate human tumor biology. METHODS:We transplanted 30 primary tumors directly into mice. The histology and stromal components were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Gene expression analysis was conducted on patient tumors and on PDXs and cell lines derived from one PDX and from independent, human tumors. RESULTS:Five of 30 (17%) transplanted tumors could be serially passaged. Engraftment was more frequent among HNSCC with poor differentiation and nodal disease. The tumors maintained the histologic characteristics of the parent tumor, although human stromal components were lost upon engraftment. The degree of difference in gene expression between the PDX and its parent tumor varied widely but was stable up to the tenth generation in one PDX. For genes whose expression differed between parent tumors and cell lines in culture, the PDX expression pattern was very similar to that of the parent tumor. There were also significant expression differences between the human tumors that subsequently grew in mice and those that did not, suggesting that this model enriches for cancers with distinct biological features. The PDX model was used successfully to test targeted drugs in vivo. CONCLUSION:The PDX model for HNSCC is feasible, recapitulates the histology of the original tumor, and generates stable gene expression patterns. Gene expression patterns and histology suggested that the PDX more closely recapitulated the parental tumor than did cells in culture. Thus, the PDX is a robust model in which to evaluate tumor biology and novel therapeutics.