Personalized Oncology

Personalized Oncology Services: Patient-Derived Chemosensitivity Xenografts

Development of standard chemotherapies often based on clinical trials data. While various anticancer compounds can show positive effects in certain patients, it is often a guess which chemotherapy treatment will work the best. A personalized oncology xenograft service provides such opportunity by testing chemotherapy effect outside of the patient. This is performed by xenotransplantation of patient’s tumor piece (or biopsy) in an immunocompromised mouse, letting it grow, followed by testing chemotherapy effectiveness on inhibiting the tumor growth. Results from personalized xenograft testing can show which chemotherapies (or combination of chemotherapies) can fight best against patients specific cancer.

Personalized Oncology Xenograft Services provided by Altogen Labs:

There are several steps in the process of obtaining a patient-derived xenograft:

  1.  A tissue sample from a patient’s tumor must be obtained (piece of tumor, or biopsy).
  2.  The tumor tissue piece (once extracted) must be transplanted in immunocompromized mice.
  3.  The tumor sample is grown in vivo for 6-8 weeks.
  4.  The tumor is dissected into several parts, and re-implanted in other set of immunocompromized mice for follow up testing.
  5.  Chemosensitivity drug test is performed (chemotherapy set can be chosen by the patient and their doctor).
  6.  The results (list of most effective chemotherapies, and/or their combination) are reported to the patient and their oncologist.

Read more about the Cost, Tumor Extraction Procedure, and Patient Responsibilities:  14 Weeks PDX and Chemotherapy Testing


Mouse strains available at Altogen Labs:

Mouse type T cells B cells NK cells Coat Other Notes
CD1 No Yes Yes White/albino Outbred
B6 Yes Yes Yes White/albino Inbred
Balb/c No Yes Yes Nude, albino Inbred
Balb/SCID No No Yes White Inbred
NOD/SCID No No Impaired White Inbred
Nu/nu No Yes Yes Nude Outbred
CD57BL Yes Yes Yes Dark brown/black Inbred
CB17 Yes Yes Yes White Inbred
NSG No No No White Inbred
Swiss Nude No Yes Yes Nude Outbred


About the models


This model originates from a non-inbred Swiss stock of the 1920s from the Centre Anticancerux Romand (Lausanne, Switzerland). Outbred stocks are generally used for their genetic variability.


This strain of mouse arose from a spontaneous mutation in the C57BL/6 strain resulting in a coisogenic albino mutant. These mice have a mutant tyrosinase gene.


This strain of nude mouse was developed in the 1980s through many crosses and backcrosses and remains to be an inbred model. Balb/c mice do not have a thymus and therefore cannot produce T-cells and are considered immunodeficient. Balb/c mice are often used for their easy breeding and similar weights (low-variation) of males and females. They are also used for monoclonal antibody production.


This mouse model lacks functioning T and B cells but do have functioning NK cells which limits engraftment. These mice are sensitive to irradiation and have functioning macrophages, dendritic cells and complement activity. Some cancer cell lines show improved engraftment over nude models in Balb/SCID mice.


The homozygous SCID mutation results in impaired T cell and B cell lymphocyte development. The NOD characteristic results in impaired natural killer cell function. NOD/SCID mice also lack macrophage and dendritic cell activity as well as reduced complement activity. These mice have a non-obese diabetic and insulitis background and low cytokine production. NOD/SCID mice exhibit a 36-week median survival due to the development of thymic lymphomas, which limits their use to short-term experiments.


These mice originate from the National Institute of Health (NIH). Originally thought to be BALB/C congenic mice, once it was discovered that these mice were outbred they were determined to be of their own strain. These mice do not have a thymus, or T-cells, and are nude immunodeficient models.


This laboratory mouse strain was the 2nd mammalian species to ever have its genome published in entirety. They originate from the Bussey Institute for Research in Applied Biology in 1921. These mice are often selected for easy breeding and availability of congenic strains. These mice are particularly sensitive to odors, noise, pain, cold, alcohol and morphine addiction.


CB17 mice are of a congenic strain that carry the immunoglobulin heavy chain allele (Igh-1b) from a C57BL/Ka on a BALB/c background. They are an ideal control for the CB17/SCID immunodeficient mouse model


Also known as NOD scid gamma, these mice are deficient in NK, T and B cells as well as multiple cytokine pathways. They also have reduced dendritic cell function and defective macrophage activity and lack a complement system. They are one of the most immunodeficient models available and unlike NOD/SCID mice, NSG mice do not develop thymic lymphomas and can be used for long-term experiments.

Swiss Nude

These mice originate from the 1974 Gustave Roussy Institute (Villejuif, France) Swiss stock. They are T cell deficient, nude and albino.