Other (Bladder, Cervical)

Altogen Labs validated Cancer Xenograft animal models:

FaDu, HeLa, SAS, SW780, MSTO-211H, 8505C, FTC-238, MFE280, ECC1, NT2

Xenotransplantation studies have been a backbone of oncology research for four decades, and provide an effective research and evaluation environment for novel pharmaceutical compounds. Typically, these studies involve the implantation of tumorigenic human cell lines into immunocompromised mice, providing scientists with an in vivo model of tumor behavior in which to perform experiments including screening of novel cancer therapies, studies of cell behavior, and examination of metastasis. Patient-derived xenografts are a fundamental part of in vivo pharmacological research, aiding in the translation from benchtop to bedside.

Bladder cancers can occur as transitional cell cancer (TCC, most common), squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, small cell carcinoma or sarcoma. TCC affects the cells, urothelium, that line the inside of bladders and urinary tracts. Symptoms include painful urination and bloody urine; prognosis for bladder cancer is a 5-year survival rate of 77% in the US. Cervical cancer mostly presents as squamous cell carcinomas although some are adenocarcinomas or other types. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is known to cause most (over 90%) of cervical cancer cases, and HPV vaccines are available for cancer prevention. Early stage cervical cancers often do not present symptoms and late stage symptoms include vaginal bleeding, a vaginal mass, contact bleeding, weight loss, pelvic or back pain, bone fractures, fatigue or swollen legs. Detection typically occurs through Pap smear tests and biopsies; US 5-year survival rates are 68%. Oral cancer, also known as tongue cancer, is a subtype of head and neck cancer and presents as lesions in the mouth or nasal cavity. Oral cancer has many cell types from which they can arise; subtypes include teratoma, lymphoma, adenocarcinoma or melanoma, although most types are squamous cell carcinomas. Symptoms include non-healing ulcers, tooth mobility, epitaxis, prolonged hoarse voice, progressive swelling, indurated areas, dysesthesia, paresthesia, otalgia, trismus, dysphagia and persistant pain. Treatments include surgery (maxillectoy, madibulectomy, glossectoy, radial neck dissection, laryngectomy, Mohs surgery), radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Oral cancer prognosis is dependent on overall health and stage of cancer.

Using human xenograft models of cancer, as previously mentioned, is a powerful research tool, and there are several models of miscellaneous cancers to choose from. There are links above to some of the most common tissue culture models that Altogen Labs has available, summarized in the table below. Models are often selected based on morphology, genetics, histology, early vs. late stage phenotype, invasive/aggressive properties, and abnormal protein expressions (usually relating to cell cycle, apoptosis, growth and angiogenesis). The goal of xenografts and murine models is to mirror human pathology and disease as closely as possible so that accurate insights into cellular events are achieved. This aspect is particularly critical with preclinical drug testing for accurately evaluating compound efficacy.

Cell Line Characteristics
FaDu ·    Human epithelial cells from a hypopharyngeal tumor (squamous cell carcinoma)·    Expresses proinflammatory cytokines that activate neutrophils in vivo·    Overexpresses EGFR·    Hypodiploid karyotype·    Exhibits tonofilaments in cytoplasm as well as desmosomal regions at cell boundaries
HeLa ·    Epithelial human cervical cancer·    Contain human papilloma virus·    Keratin positive·    Expresses lysophosphatidylcholine (lyso-PC)·    Expresses low levels of p53 and normal levels of retinoblastoma receptor (pRB)
SAS ·    Poorly differentiated human epithelial squamous cell tongue carcinoma·    Cytokeratin positive·    Exhibits fully formed cytoplasmic filaments and desmosomes·    Hypertriploid karyotype
  • Human biphasic mesothelioma from pleural effusion
  • Fibroblast morphology
  • Exhibits high affinity for EGF
  • Expresses neuron specific enolase (NSE) and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)
  • Overexpresses c-myc protooncogene
SW780 ·         Human transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder·         Patient underwent preoperative Thiotepa chemotherapy
8505C ●        Human undifferentiated thyroid carcinoma

●        BRAF V600E mutation

●        TP53 R248G mutation

  • Human endometrial adenocarcinoma
  • Near diploid karyotype
  • Expresses cytokines 7, 18, 8, 19 and vimentin as well as placental protein 14 and PP14
  • Poorly differentiated
FTC-238 ●        Human follicular carcinoma

●        From metastatic site (lung)

●        P53 mutation

●        Polymorphic morphology

  • Human epithelial-like malignant pluripotent testicular embryonal carcinoma
  • Differentiation can be induced with retinoic acid (RA) or hexamethylene bisacetamide (HMBA)
  • High N-myc oncogene activity
  • Human epithelial endometrium adenocarcinoma
  • Luminal phenotype
  • Well differentiated
  • Steroid responsive

Altogen Labs is one of the leading biology contract research organization (CRO) based in Austin, Texas. Altogen Labs provides years of expert research in xenograft experiments taking advantage of the comprehensive expertise the company has developed in the use of human tumor xenografts for research and clinical purposes. Altogen Labs offers a complete suite of laboratory services, including:

  • xenotransplantation study design
  • selection of appropriate cancer model/cell line
  • host animal selection
  • subcutaneous or orthotopic xenografting
  • daily observation of experimental subjects
  • post-experiment analysis, including serum collection and histology

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.

All laboratory studies are performed by experienced personnel in a GLP-compliant and IACUC-regulated facility in Austin, Texas. Please contact us at info@altogenlabs.com, or call 512-433-6177 to discuss xenograft study details.