Trace, a patient-derived tumor xenograft platform (PDX) in translational cancer research
At the end of November 2016, the PDX platform Trace, founded by prof. Frédéric Amant and prof. Sabine Tejpar of the department of Oncology, celebrates its fourth anniversary. Trace was set up at the end of 2012 aiming to accelerate translational cancer research by offering a predictive and reliable preclinical in vivo model.
Including many tumour types, Trace succeeded to offer a large collection of extensively annotated PDXs (patient-derived tumor xenografts), serving the scientific community in Belgium and abroad. Many PDXs have been used in different applications showing their added value and widespread use in the ‘post cell-line xenograft era’. As a result of several excellent collaborations, Trace contributed to 1 Nature Reviews Cancer paper (article has been submit for publication, November 2016) and 2 published Nature papers:
- Melanoma addiction to LncRNA SAMMSON in Nature (March 2016) - prof. Jean-Christophe Marine, department of Human Genetics
- Tumor hypoxia causes DNA hypermethylation by reducing TET activity in Nature (September 2016) - prof. Diether Lambrechts, department of Oncology
PDX as a valuable preclinical model
Despite many efforts, most novel cancer therapies fail at the clinical trial stage, due to poor efficacy or to limited numbers of responding patients. In this view, faithful preclinical models to unravel driving mechanisms of cancer and discover biomarkers reliably predicting treatment efficacy are needed for optimal therapeutic management of cancer patients. PDXs, developed by transplanting freshly isolated patient-derived tumor fragments into immunodeficient mice, are increasingly recognized as clinically relevant preclinical models.
Trace developes more than 100 PDXs of 10 tumor types
At Trace more than 100 well characterized PDXs of 10 different tumor types are developed and offered to academic and industrial partners applicable in a variety of research projects, basic as well as translational research. Many Trace PDXs have been used in different applications ultimately resulting in several high impact publications, including Nature.
With many projects in portfolio, and widely supported by the Belgian cancer research community, Trace aims to deliver state-of-the-art PDXs in a flexible and qualitative manner. In addition, the platform wants to further optimize its procedures and expand its services, including the development of humanized PDX models.