Human tumor xenografts as model for drug testing

Cancer Metastasis Rev. 1988 Nov;7(3):263-84. doi: 10.1007/BF00047755.


This paper reviews the history of xenografts, the endpoints commonly used to evaluate response and chemotherapeutic results obtained with serially maintained human tumor xenografts from different laboratories, and discusses the potential clinical relevance of the heterotransplant model for cancer chemotherapy. Specifically, an attempt is made to correlate the published xenograft data with the clinical data. Drug testing with different types of xenotransplanted tumors has shown that the response of xenografts obtained in immune-deficient animals is comparable to that in clinical practice. In addition, xenografts of a particular tumor type are able to identify agents of known clinical activity against that disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Transplantation, Heterologous