Xenograft Models

Altogen Labs provides research studies using over 90 validated xenograft models, including brain carcinoma models, pancreatic and breast cancer xenografts, epidermoid and nasopharyngeal carcinoma models, xenograft studies for melanona, colon, breast, lung, and prostate cancers (PDX xenograft models are also available, please see PDX Xenograft Services PPT2).

Altogen Labs validated cell line derived xenograft (CDX) mouse and rat models:

Tumor Type: Altogen Labs in-house validated CDX xenograft models:
Brain LN229,  SF268,  SF295,  SF539,  SK-N-AS,  SNB-19,  SNB-75,  U-251 MG,  U87 MGU118,  U87-Luc
Breast Cancer 4T1,  BT474,  HS578T,  KPL-4,  MCF-7,  MDA-MB-157,  MDA-MB-231,  MDA-MB-453,  MDA-MB-468,  T47DHCC1806HCC1954ZR-75-1
Colon COLO-205,  CT-26,  DLD-1,  HCT116,  HT-29,  KM-12,  LoVo,  LS-174T,  MC38,  RKO,  SW480,  SW-620,  WiDr, HTC15
Gastric AGS,  HS746T,  MKN-45,  NCI-N87,  SNU-16,  SGC-7901SNU5
Hepatocellular / Liver H22,  Hepa1-6,  Hep3B,  HepG2,  SK-HEP1,  SMMC-7721HUH7SNU-398
Leukemia/Lymphoma A20,  DOHH2,  EL-4,  HL-60,  K-562,  Karpas-299,  MOLM-13,  Ramos,  RajiMOLT4DaudiGranta519H929OPM2RL
Lung A549,  Calu-3,  Calu-6,  H226,  H460,  H1155Huh7,  NCI-H226,  NCI-H1975DMS273LL2NCI-H522
Melanoma A375SKMEL28A431,  A2058,  B16,  SK-MEL-2LOX-IMV1
Other FaDu,  HeLa,  SAS8505CECC1FTC238MFE280MSTO211HNTERA2SW780
Ovarian OV-CAR3,  SKOV-3TOV-21G
Pancreas AsPC-1,  BxPc-3,  MIAPaCa-2,  PANC-1Capan1
Prostate DU-145,  LNCaP,  PC-3
Renal / Kidney 786-O,  A498,  Caki-1,  HEK-293,  Renca, G401RXF393
Sarcoma SJSA-1,  S180HT1080

Altogen Labs metastatic CDX models:

Tumor Type: Cell Line:
Brain U87
Breast Cancer 4T1
Colon HCT116,  HT-29
Hepatocellular / Liver SK-HEP-1
Leukemia/Lymphoma A20, EL-4,  K-562
Lung A549
Melanoma A375,  A2058,  B16
Pancreas BxPc-3,  MIA PaCa-2
Prostate PC-3

Metastatic model available options:

  • Measure metastasis weights or metastasis counts
  • Create stable cell line that expresses luciferase (enables bioluminescence imaging)
  • Primary & secondary tumor resistance to treatment
  • Genetic analysis of mets and primary tumor; nucleic acids can be isolated or stabilized (RNAlater or frozen tissues) in order to perform sequencing analysis of INDELs, SNPs, RNA-Seq, Exome sequencing

Download Altogen Labs In Vivo Xenograft Services PowerPoint Presentation: [Download PPT2]

Download Altogen Labs PDX Xenograft Services PowerPoint Presentation: [Download PPT2]

Download Altogen Labs PDX Services Article: [Download pdf]

What is Xenograft?

Xenograft refers to the transplantation of cells or tissues between different species. In preclinical research, xenografts are commonly used to test the efficacy of new cancer treatments. Xenograft models are used to study tumor growth and response to test article (novel cancer therapies). Human tumor cells or cancer tissues are transplanted into immunodeficient animals (usually mice) and tumor growth curve is established and reproduced several times to create validated xenograft model. While xenograft models have certain limitations, such as the lack of a complete immune system and potential differences in biology between the human tumor and animal host, they are still a “golden standard” for testing new therapies and required for drug development regulatory compliance.

What is Xenografting and Xenotransplantation?

Xenografting is an established research method that involves transplantation of cells of tissue from one species (usually human tumor cells or tissues) into different species (immunocompromised laboratory mice and rats). Xenotransplantation of human tumor tissue into immunocompromised mice provides a more precise model of tumor cells than in vitro studies. Xenografting is the most reliable nonclinical research technique for testing anti-cancer therapies for the purpose of studying cancer biology and testing potential cancer therapies. According to National Cancer Institute (NCI), only few percent of drug candidates successful in cell-based studies resulted in substantial anti-tumor efficiency observed in animal studies). Altogen Labs performs in vivo xenotransplantation experiments for development of novel medicines (drug development), oncology applications, inflammation, infectious disease, diabetes, immunology, obesity, and pain research. Xenograft experiments are a powerful research tool in oncology, performing a critical task in evaluation of novel cancer therapies as part of the translation from bench to clinic. Researchers utilize these services to identify anti-tumor activity of newly developed therapeutic compounds and to characterize the direct involvement of specific proteins in tumor growth control.

Xenograft models for preclinical research

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 (most common are Nude and NOD/SCID strains), 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 (PDX) are a fundamental part of in vivo pharmacological research, aiding in the translation from benchtop to bedside. Altogen Labs is one of the leading biology contract research organization (CRO) based in Austin, Texas provides years of expert research in xenograft experiments taking advantage of the comprehensive expertise Altogen Labs 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.