Patient-derived xenografts are tumor samples that are extracted
from patients and reimplanted in mice subcutaneously (PDXs) or
orthotopically (PDOX or orthoxenografts), i.e., in the same location as
in the patient.
This mechanism constitutes an emerging platform to
search for new treatments and biomarkers in oncology, since it allows to
reproduce the behavior of each tumor in a personalized way and to test
several treatment alternatives, integrating the genetic alterations
characteristic of each tumor with the treatment.
‘European research lays the foundation for the development of new and ambitious research projects with xenografts derived from patients, preclinical models with great potential to advance research and treatment in cancer.’
European research lays the foundation for the development of new and
ambitious research projects with xenografts derived from patients,
preclinical models with great potential to advance research and
treatment in cancer.
The review article, published in Nature Reviews Cancer
is the result of the joint work of the European consortium of
researchers EurOPDX, which includes different researchers from the
Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) - Catalan Institute of
Oncology (ICO), among which there are Eva González-Suárez and Alberto
"This review addresses the hottest topics in the field of
subcutaneous models and orthoxenografts," explains Dr. Villanueva.
"There are very important issues, such as how these models can be used
for drug assessment, personalized medicine and cancer immunotherapy.
This is a very broad review, based on a large amount of data from all
members of the EurOPDX consortium of which we are part".
The EurOPDX consortium, created in 2013, integrates 16 European
research institutions with extensive experience in basic, preclinical,
translational and clinical oncology. Among its objectives is the
creation of a collection of orthotopic and subcutaneous models for more
than 30 diseases, the creation of a platform that allows the performance
of preclinical studies at a multicentric level and the homogenization
of methods and work practices to ensure the reproducibility of these
At the Spanish level there are three research centers that make
up the consortium. "At IDIBELL-ICO we are the European experts in
orthohxenografts. More than 90% of these models have been generated in
our facilities", says Dr. Villanueva, who in addition to being part of
the proCURE research program of IDIBELL-ICO leads the spin-off company
Xenopat, which specializes precisely in this type of model and in its
use both for drug development and for performing personalized oncology
Currently, the EurOPDX network of researchers is working to carry
out a large-scale project - undergoing Horizon 2020 evaluation - which
will attempt to validate a multicentric preclinical study with these
models, that is, to demonstrate that the analysis of a single tumor of a
single patient can yield the same results in different centers.