Personalizing non-small cell lung cancer treatment through patient-derived xenograft models: preclinical and clinical factors for consideration

Vered Fuchs, Ariel Sobarzo, Maha Msamra, Yarden Kezerle, Liat Linde, Gur Sevillya, Alaa Anoze, Yael Refaely, Ahron Yehonatan Cohen, Israel Melamed, Amit Azriel, Rami Shoukrun, Yael Raviv, Angel Porgador, Nir Peled, Laila Catalina Roisman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: In the pursuit of creating personalized and more effective treatment strategies for lung cancer patients, Patient-Derived Xenografts (PDXs) have been introduced as preclinical platforms that can recapitulate the specific patient’s tumor in an in vivo model. We investigated how well PDX models can preserve the tumor’s clinical and molecular characteristics across different generations. Methods: A Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) PDX model was established in NSG-SGM3 mice and clinical and preclinical factors were assessed throughout subsequent passages. Our cohort consisted of 40 NSCLC patients, which were used to create 20 patient-specific PDX models in NSG-SGM3 mice. Histopathological staining and Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) analysis were preformed to understand tumor heterogeneity throughout serial passages. Results: The main factors that contributed to the growth of the engrafted PDX in mice were a higher grade or stage of disease, in contrast to the long duration of chemotherapy treatment, which was negatively correlated with PDX propagation. Successful PDX growth was also linked to poorer prognosis and overall survival, while growth pattern variability was affected by the tumor aggressiveness, primarily affecting the first passage. Pathology analysis showed preservation of the histological type and grade; however, WES analysis revealed genomic instability in advanced passages, leading to the inconsistencies in clinically relevant alterations between the PDXs and biopsies. Conclusions: Our study highlights the impact of multiple clinical and preclinical factors on the engraftment success, growth kinetics, and tumor stability of patient-specific NSCLC PDXs, and underscores the importance of considering these factors when guiding and evaluating prolonged personalized treatment studies for NSCLC patients in these models, as well as signaling the imperative for additional investigations to determine the full clinical potential of this technique.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical and Translational Oncology
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2024


  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • NSG-SGM3
  • Patient-derived xenografts
  • Precision medicine
  • Preclinical models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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