PURPOSE: Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic malignancy in the United States, with high rates of recurrence and eventual resistance to cytotoxic chemotherapy. Model systems that allow for accurate and reproducible target discovery and validation are needed to support further drug development in this disease.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Clinically-annotated patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models were generated from tumor cells isolated from the ascites or pleural fluid of patients undergoing clinical procedures. Models were characterized by immunohistochemistry and by molecular analyses. Each PDX was luciferized to allow for reproducible in vivo assessment of intraperitoneal tumor burden by bioluminescent imaging (BLI). Plasma assays for CA125 and human LINE-1 were developed as secondary tests of in vivo disease burden.
RESULTS: 14 clinically annotated and molecularly characterized luciferized ovarian PDX models were generated. Luciferized PDX models retain fidelity to both the non-luciferized PDX and the original patient tumor, as demonstrated by immunohistochemistry, array CGH, and targeted and whole-exome sequencing analyses. Models demonstrated diversity in specific genetic alterations and activation of PI3K signaling pathway members. Response of luciferized PDX models to standard of care therapy could be reproducibly monitored by BLI or plasma markers.
CONCLUSIONS: We describe the establishment of a collection of 14 clinically annotated and molecularly characterized luciferized ovarian PDX models in which orthotopic tumor burden in the intraperitoneal space can be followed by standard and reproducible methods. This collection is well-suited as a platform for proof-of-concept efficacy and biomarker studies and for validation of novel therapeutic strategies in ovarian cancer.