Establishment of a human B-CLL xenograft model: utility as a preclinical therapeutic model

Leukemia. 1996 Jan;10(1):130-7.


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a proliferative disease of mature looking B lymphocytes, is the commonest leukemia in western countries. It remains incurable by available treatment modalities. We report on the establishment of a permanent, EBV-negative, B-CLL line (WSU-CLL) from the peripheral blood of a patient with CLL. The cells grow as suspension in liquid culture, express IgG lambda and other B cell markers and show lg heavy and light gene rearrangements. Karyotypic analysis shows 45,X,del(3)(p14;p24),t(4;12;12) (q31;q22;p13), t(5;12) (q31;p13), add(16)(q24)X2, t(18;21) (q12;p12). WSU-CLL forms colonies when grown on soft agar. A xenograft model was established by injecting the WSU-CLL cells subcutaneously (s.c.) in severe combined immune deficient (SCID) mice. When the s.c. tumor was transplanted in vivo to other SCID mice, the success rate was 100% with a doubling time of 7.3 days. The CLL-SCID xenograft model was used to test the efficacy of selected standard chemotherapy drugs and new therapeutic agents against WSU-CLL. The cell line and the xenograft described can be used as a model to facilitate the development of new therapeutic agents against CLL in man.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Karyotyping
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / drug therapy
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / genetics
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / immunology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / pathology


  • Antineoplastic Agents