Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models are created by engraftment of patient tumor tissues into immunocompetent mice. Since a PDX model retains the characteristics of the primary patient tumor including gene expression profiles and drug responses, it has become the most reliable in vivo human cancer model. The engraftment rate increases with the introduction of Non-obese diabetic Severe combined immunodeficiency (NOD/SCID)-based immunocompromised mice, especially the NK-deficient NOD strains NOD/SCID/interleukin-2 receptor gamma chain(IL2Rγ)null (
NOG/NSG) and NOD/SCID/Jak3(Janus kinase 3)null
(NOJ). Success rates differ with tumor origin: gastrointestinal tumors acquire a higher engraftment rate, while the rate is lower for breast cancers. Subcutaneous transplantation is the most popular method to establish PDX, but some tumors require specific environments, e.g., orthotropic or renal capsule transplantation. Human hormone treatment is necessary to establish hormone-dependent cancers such as prostate and breast cancers. PDX mice with human hematopoietic and immune systems (humanized PDX) are powerful tools for the analysis of tumor–immune system interaction and evaluation of immunotherapy response. A PDX biobank equipped with patients’ clinical data, gene-expression patterns, mutational statuses, tumor tissue architects, and drug responsiveness will be an authoritative resource for developing specific tumor biomarkers for chemotherapeutic predictions, creating individualized therapy, and establishing precise cancer medicine.
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