Patient-derived xenografting of human melanoma

S. E. Boyle, Clare Grace Fedele, M. Shackleton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


A key requirement for improving cancer outcomes is the development of models that recapitulate biological and molecular characteristics of human disease. In melanoma, with the emergence of immune-based therapies and of targeted therapies against defined oncogenic mechanisms, development of clinically relevant models of the disease is a higher priority than ever. This chapter examines the essential features and applications of a particular type of modeling called patient-derived xenografting (PDX), in which patient cancer cells (in this case melanoma cells) are injected into immunocompromised mice to form tumors. Using optimized PDX melanoma assays, which are more efficient than comparable assays in most other cancers, melanomas from most patients can be established as PDX tumors in mice, even from very small numbers of cells. This facilitates the testing of theoretical models of disease progression, melanoma heterogeneity, and mechanisms of melanoma metastasis and response/resistance to therapy. Additionally, recent literature suggests that PDX melanomas may assist in the clinical management of patients by predicting metastasis and survival outcomes, as well as response to therapies that target cell-intrinsic mechanisms of disease propagation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPatient Derived Tumor Xenograft Models
Subtitle of host publicationPromise, Potential and Practice
EditorsRajesh Uthamanthil, Peggy Tinkey, Elisa de Stanchina
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780128040614
ISBN (Print)9780128040102
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer therapy
  • Genomic instability
  • Heterogeneity
  • Melanoma
  • PDX
  • Tumor dissociation
  • Xenotransplantation

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