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Nat Protoc. 2013 May;8(5):836-48. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2013.043. Epub 2013 Apr 4.

A preclinical xenograft model of prostate cancer using human tumors.

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Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.


Most cases of prostate cancer are now diagnosed as moderate-grade localized disease. These tumor specimens are important tools in the discovery and translation of prostate cancer research; however, unlike more advanced tumors, they are notoriously difficult to grow in the laboratory. We developed a system for efficiently xenografting localized human prostate cancer tissue, and we adapted this protocol to study the interactions between the specific subsets of epithelial and stromal cells. Fresh prostate tissues or isolated epithelial cells are recombined with mouse seminal vesicle mesenchyme (SVM) and grafted under the renal capsule of immunodeficient mice for optimum growth and survival. Alternatively, mouse mesenchyme can be replaced with human prostate fibroblasts in order to determine their contribution to tumor progression. Grafts can be grown for several months to determine the effectiveness of novel therapeutic compounds when administered to host mice, thereby paving the way for personalizing the treatment of individual prostate cancers.

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