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Xenograft Cancer Models Facility

The Xenograft Cancer Models Facility, a research core facility in CSI Singapore established under the leadership of Dr Chan Shing Leng, maintains strains of immunocompromised mice for xenograft experiments.

In this facility, the recently developed transplantable patient-derived cancer tissue xenograft (PDX) lines generated by grafting of fresh cancer tissues in immunodeficient mice (eg. NOD/SCID, NSG mice) offers more realistic preclinical cancer models in terms of their histopathological and genetic profiles. These PDX models offer enhanced predictive power for evaluation of anticancer agents and therefore quickly become useful resources for drug testing and other cancer research.

In collaboration with surgeon Dr Jimmy So, the facility has generated xenograft tumors for gastric cancer. These xenograft tumors recapitulate those in the patient samples as evident from histological analyses. To date, they have 19 lines of xenograft tumors generated from tumor tissues of well, moderately and poorly differentiated histological subtypes of intestinal gastric cancers. In addition, 8 lines of xenograft models were generated for diffused gastric cancer. The various xenograft lines maintain their original cellular compositions as well as their histological phenotypes throughout subsequent passaging. These PDX models have also been subjected to molecular profiling and exome sequencing.

Recently, the facility has embarked on the generation of PDX from Non-small Cell Lung Cancer, a cancer with Asian phenotype with the collaboration with surgeon Dr John Tam from NUH.

This facility has a wide outreach to both academic users from NUH, CSI Singapore, Duke-NUS Medical School and industry users such as Kyowa Hakko Kim Singapore Pte Ltd, Bayer Pharma AG and Siamab Therapeutics. In particular, their efforts in establishing PDX models, especially for diffuse gastric cancer have received favourable comments from the Scientific Advisory Board Members of the Translational and Clinical Research (TCR) Flagship Program.