Case study: patient-derived clear cell adenocarcinoma xenograft model longitudinally predicts treatment response

Roberto Vargas, Priyanka Gopal, Gwendolyn B. Kuzmishin, Robert DeBernardo, Shlomo A. Koyfman, Babal K. Jha, Omar Y. Mian, Jacob Scott, Drew J. Adams, Craig D. Peacock, Mohamed E. Abazeed*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


There has been little progress in the use of patient-derived xenografts (PDX) to guide individual therapeutic strategies. In part, this can be attributed to the operational challenges of effecting successful engraftment and testing multiple candidate drugs in a clinically workable timeframe. It also remains unclear whether the ancestral tumor will evolve along similar evolutionary trajectories in its human and rodent hosts in response to similar selective pressures (i.e., drugs). Herein, we combine a metastatic clear cell adenocarcinoma PDX with a timely 3 mouse x 1 drug experimental design, followed by a co-clinical trial to longitudinally guide a patient’s care. Using this approach, we accurately predict response to first- and second-line therapies in so far as tumor response in mice correlated with the patient’s clinical response to first-line therapy (gemcitabine/nivolumab), development of resistance and response to second-line therapy (paclitaxel/neratinib) before these events were observed in the patient. Treatment resistance to first-line therapy in the PDX is coincident with biologically relevant changes in gene and gene set expression, including upregulation of phase I/II drug metabolism (CYP2C18, UGT2A, and ATP2A1) and DNA interstrand cross-link repair (i.e., XPA, FANCE, FANCG, and FANCL) genes. A total of 5.3% of our engrafted PDX collection is established within 2 weeks of implantation, suggesting our experimental designs can be broadened to other cancers. These findings could have significant implications for PDX-based avatars of aggressive human cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14
Journalnpj Precision Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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