We describe our initial studies in the development of an orthotopic, genetically defined, large animal model of pancreatic cancer. Primary pancreatic epithelial cells were isolated from pancreatic duct of domestic pigs. A transformed cell line was generated from these primary cells with oncogenic KRAS and SV40T. The transformed cell lines outperformed the primary and SV40T immortalized cells in terms of proliferation, population doubling time, soft agar growth, transwell migration and invasion. The transformed cell line grew tumors when injected subcutaneously in nude mice, forming glandular structures and staining for epithelial markers. Future work will include implantation studies of these tumorigenic porcine pancreatic cell lines into the pancreas of allogeneic and autologous pigs. The resultant large animal model of pancreatic cancer could be utilized for preclinical research on diagnostic, interventional, and therapeutic technologies.
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