Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Opens Database for Patient-Derived Xenografts

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has launched an open-source, public repository of biopsy tissue collected from patients with leukemia and lymphoma. Called the Public Repository of Xenografts (PRoXe), the repository will help researchers create xenograft mouse models with patient-derived tumors to test cancer treatments.

With this new database, registered researchers can search for patient-derived xenograft models of specific subtypes of blood cancers and order frozen cells for mouse models using an internet-based portal.

“About 90 percent of compounds that show anti-cancer activity in pre-clinical tests don’t work when given to patients,” said David Weinstock, MD, an attending physician in the Medical Oncology Service at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in a press release. “By trying drugs in patient-derived xenograft models, we can ‘mimic’ large and expensive human clinical trials and get answers about efficacy more quickly, less expensively, and without the need for patients to get investigational drugs that won’t work.”

PRoXe is currently only available for blood cancers, though the Institute is looking to expand into other biopsy tissues in the future.

Source: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute press release, April 11, 2016.