Researchers at Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) have developed a new xenograft model that uses animals to study intractable brain cancer, which has a five-year survival rate of only 2 percent.
|From Left, Professors Paek Sun-ha and Kim Jeong-hun|
The team, led by Professors Paek Sun-ha and Kim Jeong-hun, quickly and reliably established a refractory brain cancer animal model by injecting brain tumor cells from a glioblastoma patient into the eye of a mouse, the hospital said.
Existing glioblastoma-derived animal models uses injected patient-derived cells under the skin or in the brain tissue of the mice. However, it has a disadvantage of not being able to reflect the characteristics of brain cancer even when the tumor was well developed. Also, the model takes several months to process.
Considering that the median survival of glioblastomas is less than 15 months, the existing model makes it hard to see the response of the drug candidates.
The research team devised a refractory brain cancer animal model through intraocular injection, considering that the retinal tissue in the eye uses the same nerve cells same as the brain and that the vitreous space between the lens and the retina is suitable for the proliferation of tumor cells.
When the team injected tumor cells derived from tissues of a glioblastoma patient into the eye of a mouse and observed the animal for four weeks, it could see tumors develop in all the mice. When it injected the same cells into brain tissue, they could not observe any tumor formation even after six weeks.
The team expects that their glioblastoma animal model will be useful for the testing and development of patient-customized drugs since it can confirm tumor formations within a month.
“Our model will be likely used in making additional models for ocular tumor, retinoblastoma,” Professor Kim said.
Professor Paek also said, “We hope that this study will contribute to the treatment of intractable brain cancer which has a low survival rate.”
Experimental & Molecular Medicine published the result of the study.