Progression of metastatic human prostate cancer to androgen independence in immunodeficient SCID mice

Nat Med. 1997 Apr;3(4):402-8. doi: 10.1038/nm0497-402.


Prostate cancer mortality results from metastasis to bone and hormone-independent tumor growth. Models to study these progressive changes are lacking. Here we describe the propagation of advanced human prostate cancer by direct transfer of surgical samples from patients into immune-deficient male SCID mice. Explants from six of eight patients formed prostate tumors and two showed unique cytogenetic, biologic and molecular features that were retained through six or more passages. One grew in an androgen-independent fashion, whereas the second formed tumors that regressed following castration then regrew. Micrometastatic disease was detected in the hematopoietic tissues of half of the recipient mice. Thus selected specimens of advanced human prostate cancer can be propagated in SCID mice in a manner that recapitulates the clinical transition from androgen-sensitive to androgen-independent growth, accompanied by micrometastasis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasm Transplantation / methods*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / secondary
  • Transplantation, Heterologous / methods*


  • Androgens