Patient-derived xenografts as preclinical neuroblastoma models

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The prognosis for children with high-risk neuroblastoma is often poor and survivors can suffer from severe side effects. Predictive preclinical models and novel therapeutic strategies for high-risk disease are therefore a clinical imperative. However, conventional cancer cell line-derived xenografts can deviate substantially from patient tumors in terms of their molecular and phenotypic features. Patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) recapitulate many biologically and clinically relevant features of human cancers. Importantly, PDXs can closely parallel clinical features and outcome and serve as excellent models for biomarker and preclinical drug development. Here, we review progress in and applications of neuroblastoma PDX models. Neuroblastoma orthotopic PDXs share the molecular characteristics, neuroblastoma markers, invasive properties and tumor stroma of aggressive patient tumors and retain spontaneous metastatic capacity to distant organs including bone marrow. The recent identification of genomic changes in relapsed neuroblastomas opens up opportunities to target treatment-resistant tumors in well-characterized neuroblastoma PDXs. We highlight and discuss the features and various sources of neuroblastoma PDXs, methodological considerations when establishing neuroblastoma PDXs, in vitro 3D models, current limitations of PDX models and their application to preclinical drug testing.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology


  • Mouse model, Neuroblastoma, Patient-derived xenograft (PDX), Pediatric cancer
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-243
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch