Tumor transplants into nude mice (NM) may reveal abnormal biological behavior compared with the original tumor. Despite this, human tumor xenografts in NM have been widely used to study the biology of tumors and to establish diagnostic and therapeutic modalities. Clearly, precise differences in the biology of a given tumor in human and in NM cannot be assessed. We compared the growth kinetics, differentiation pattern and karyotype of an anaplastic Syrian hamster pancreatic cancer cell line in NM and in allogenic hamsters, As with the original tumor, transplants in hamsters grew fast, were anaplastic and expressed markers related to tumor malignancy like galectin 3, TGF-α and its receptor EGFR at high levels. However, tumors in the NM were well-differentiated adenocarcinomas, grew slower, had increased apoptotic rate and had a high expression of differentiation markers such as blood group A antigen, DU-PAN-2, carbonic anhydrase II, TGF-β2 and mucin. Karyotypically, the tumors in the NM acquired additional chromosomal damage. Our results demonstrate significant differences in the morphology and biology of tumors grown in NM and the allogenic host, and call for caution in extrapolating data obtained from xenografts to primary cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research