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J Pathol. 1988 Nov;156(3):213-25.

Basal cell carcinoma xenografts in nude mice: studies on epithelial differentiation and stromal relationships.

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Department of Histopathology, Hammersmith Hospital, London, U.K.


Thirty-three basal cell carcinomas (BCC) were transplanted into athymic mice, and foci of tumour were identified in 17 grafts recovered after intervals of 2-5 months. Fifteen of these xenografts contained apparently normal differentiated epithelia, considered to derive from elements within the original tumours. The level of differentiation was very close in original and corresponding xenograft BCC. Morphologically recognizable 'specialized' stroma was present in some but not all xenografted BCC, and was also present in some grafts containing only differentiated elements. A monoclonal antibody specific to human type IV collagen showed intact epithelial and also vascular basement membranes within the graft. Surprisingly, mouse cells were found to line these vessels, and the stroma around normal and neoplastic epithelial islands was a mixture of mouse and human cells, with no consistent composition. These observations question the proposed dependence of BCC on its 'specialized' stroma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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