Patient-derived models of human breast cancer: protocols for in vitro and in vivo applications in tumor biology and translational medicine

Curr Protoc Pharmacol. 2013 Mar:Chapter 14:Unit14.23. doi: 10.1002/0471141755.ph1423s60.


Research models that replicate the diverse genetic and molecular landscape of breast cancer are critical for developing the next-generation therapeutic entities that can target specific cancer subtypes. Patient-derived tumorgrafts, generated by transplanting primary human tumor samples into immune-compromised mice, are a valuable method to model the clinical diversity of breast cancer in mice, and are a potential resource in personalized medicine. Primary tumorgrafts also enable in vivo testing of therapeutics and make possible the use of patient cancer tissue for in vitro screens. Described in this unit are a variety of protocols including tissue collection, biospecimen tracking, tissue processing, transplantation, and three-dimensional culturing of xenografted tissue, which enable use of bona fide uncultured human tissue in designing and validating cancer therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Specimen Handling
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / methods*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous