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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 568567, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/568567
Review Article

Patient-Derived Xenografts of Non Small Cell Lung Cancer: Resurgence of an Old Model for Investigation of Modern Concepts of Tailored Therapy and Cancer Stem Cells

1Tumor Genomics Unit, Department of Experimental Oncology and Molecular Medicine, IRCCS Foundation National Cancer Institute, Via Venezian 1, 20133 Milan, Italy
2Molecular Pharmacology Unit, Department of Experimental Oncology and Molecular Medicine, IRCCS Foundation National Cancer Institute, Via Venezian 1, 20133 Milan, Italy
3Thoracic Surgery Unit, Department of Surgery, IRCCS Foundation National Cancer Institute, Via Venezian 1, 20133 Milan, Italy

Received 28 December 2011; Accepted 10 January 2012

Academic Editor: Andrea Vecchione

Copyright © 2012 Massimo Moro et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Current chemotherapy regimens have unsatisfactory results in most advanced solid tumors. It is therefore imperative to devise novel therapeutic strategies and to optimize selection of patients, identifying early those who could benefit from available treatments. Mouse models are the most valuable tool for preclinical evaluation of novel therapeutic strategies in cancer and, among them, patient-derived xenografts models (PDX) have made a recent comeback in popularity. These models, obtained by direct implants of tissue fragments in immunocompromised mice, have great potential in drug development studies because they faithfully reproduce the patient’s original tumor for both immunohistochemical markers and genetic alterations as well as in terms of response to common therapeutics They also maintain the original tumor heterogeneity, allowing studies of specific cellular subpopulations, including their modulation after drug treatment. Moreover PDXs maintain at least some aspects of the human microenvironment for weeks with the complete substitution with murine stroma occurring only after 2-3 passages in mouse and represent therefore a promising model for studies of tumor-microenvironment interaction. This review summarizes our present knowledge on mouse preclinical cancer models, with a particular attention on patient-derived xenografts of non small cell lung cancer and their relevance for preclinical and biological studies.