The Patient-Derived Xenograft and Advanced In Vivo Models (PDX-AIM) Core of Baylor College of Medicine is divided into two independent but closely interacting functional units, a PDX Development Unit created to facilitate establishment and use of PDXs using immunocompromised mice as the host species, and an Advanced In Vivo Models Unit created to facilitate establishment and use of patient material grown on the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of the chicken egg. The AIM Unit now offers services for the creation, distribution, and assisted characterization of human tumor organoid models grown in a 3D matrix. Our instrumentation includes an IVIS lumina series III imager and a GentleMACS Dissociator with Octoheaters to facilitate and automate gentle tumor dissociation.
A primary focus of the core is to develop, and provide to the Baylor PDX community, computational and bioinformatics infrastructure to support large scale generation, characterization, and use of PDX, CAM-PDX, and tumor organoid models from a variety of organ sites, including breast, head and neck, pancreas, brain, bladder as well as other cancer types of interest to Baylor investigators including pediatric cancers. The core will also provide expertise in transplantation and animal handling to those wishing to generate PDX from various cancer types. Finally, the core will coordinate, and assist with, the evaluation of experimental therapeutics using the PDX and CAM-PDX in vivo and 3D organoid in vitro platforms in conjunction with those investigators maintaining PDX collections for each organ/disease type. Our newest service includes a collection of organoids derived from validated breast cancer PDXs representing the three major subtypes (ER+, HER2+, and TNBC) that are available to Core users as models for functional studies and the AIM Core is planning on expanding this platform to support other organ/disease sites in the future. Characterization and experimental analysis of 3D tumor organoids includes assistance with sample preparation for downstream applications such as STR DNA fingerprinting, cytometer-based tumor cell enrichment, biomarker identification, gene editing, omics analysis, microscopy imaging and therapeutic response experiments. All services will be provided on a chargeback basis.
All PDX work involving animals is conducted in dedicated housing and surgical suites in the Transgenic Mouse Facility of BCM, a fully AAALAC-accredited animal care and housing facility. Work is supported by the Center for Comparative Medicine which administers the facility. CCM provides full veterinary care, administrative and regulatory oversight, and assistance with animal husbandry. All CAM-PDX and tumor organoid work is conducted in dedicated space in the Neurosensory Tower.
The core holds monthly PDX interest group meetings in which two PDX/CAM-PDX projects will be discussed each meeting, and there will be an opportunity for group discussion of PDX-related issues. In addition, the core holds monthly operational meetings between the two PDX units. Core directors are available for individual consultations with interested investigators on an as-needed basis.
For detailed information on PDX models represented in the core, please visit our PDX Portal website.