Development and characterization of a colon PDX model that reproduces drug responsiveness and the mutation profiles of its original tumor

Cancer Lett. 2014 Apr 1;345(1):56-64. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2013.11.010. Epub 2013 Dec 11.


Cultures of primary tumors are very useful as a personalized screening system for effective therapeutic options. We here describe an effective method of reproducing human primary colon tumors through primary culture and a mouse xenograft model. A total of 199 primary colon tumor cultures were successfully established under optimized conditions to enrich for tumor cells and to expand it for long-term storage in liquid nitrogen. To examine whether these stored cultures retained original tumor properties, fifty primary cultures were xenografted into NOD-SCID mouse. Histological and tumor marker analysis of four representative tumor xenografts revealed that all of the xenograft retained its primary tumor characteristics. Oncomap analysis further showed no change in the major mutations in the xenografts, confirming that our method faithfully reproduced human colon tumors. A drug sensitivity assay revealed that two of the primary cultures were hypersensitive to oxaliplatin rather than 5-FU, which was used in the patients, suggesting it as an effective therapeutic option. We thus present an effective, reproducible preclinical model for testing various personalized therapeutic options in colon cancer patients.

Keywords: Colon cancer; Drug sensitivity; Oncomap analysis; Patient derived xenograft (PDX); Primary culture.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Mice, SCID
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays / methods*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers, Tumor