Xenograft Studies and Other Cancer Research Models


Human tumor cells inoculated and grown in mice are the most abundantly used efficacy models for various cancers in humans. Human cancer cells from a cell line transplanted to an immunodeficient mouse, the cell line derived xenograft (CDX), is a valued tool for solving in vivo pharmacology problems. By applying heterogenous tumour material from a population of patients (patient derived xenograft, PDX), the model is suited for solving translational questions. Genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models and models based on chemically induced carcinogenesis are also used. At biotest facility the core staff have more than 10 years’ of CRO-based experience with efficacy studies in cancer models.


Validation of the drug target in the test system, more important than the original anatomical location of the donor tumour materiel, is the key point to the selection of a model. Specific functions in the tumour cells are targeted, but functions in the host animal, such as the sprouting of blood vessels and the stroma in the vicinity of the tumour, may also be targeted therapeutically. Subcutaneous or orthotropic inoculation, immunodeficient or immunocompetent, murine immune system (syngeneic) or human immune system (humanised mouse). These are some of the top considerations, but many more issues must be examined. Besides our experience with cancer models, we have an advantage from our profound overall experience with housing, dosing, monitoring and sampling from test animals used in efficacy models.


A cancer efficacy study conducted at Biotest Facility is not an off-the-shelf product, but a carefully tailored program refined to answer specific scientific questions. Our test systems are set-up by using biological materials licenced from recognized suppliers or from sponsors own source. Feel free to initiate a dialogue with us concerning the optimal choice of model test system, and about the planning of your next cancer efficacy study.

Biotest Facility carries out cancer studies in a wide range of model systems, among them the nude athymic mice shown here.
Nude mice, such as the BALB/c mouse in the picture, are some of the model animals used in our efficacy models. The nude athymic mice are typically used when xenograft studies are carried out.