Abstract: The importance of the immune microenvironment in ovarian cancer progression, metastasis, and response to therapies has become increasingly clear, especially with the new emphasis on immunotherapies. In order to leverage the power of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models within a humanized immune microenvironment, three ovarian cancer PDX were grown in humanized NBSGW mice engrafted with human CD34+ cord blood-derived hematopoietic stem cells. Analysis of cytokine levels in the ascites fluid and infiltrating immune cells in the tumors demonstrated that these humanized PDX (huPDX) established an immune tumor microenvironment similar to what has been reported for ovarian cancer patients. The lack of human myeloid cell differentiation has been a major setback for humanized mouse models, but our analysis shows that PDX engraftment increases the human myeloid population in the peripheral blood. Analysis of cytokines within the ascites fluid of huPDX revealed high levels of human M-CSF, a key myeloid differentiation factor as well as other elevated cytokines that have previously been identified in ovarian cancer patient ascites fluid including those involved in immune cell differentiation and recruitment. Human tumor-associated macrophages and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes were detected within the tumors of humanized mice, demonstrating immune cell recruitment to tumors. Comparison of the three huPDX revealed certain differences in cytokine signatures and in the extent of immune cell recruitment. Our studies show that huNBSGW PDX models reconstitute important aspects of the ovarian cancer immune tumor microenvironment making this a superior approach for therapeutic trials.

Journal Link: bioRxiv Other Link: Download PDF Other Link: Google Scholar

Register for reporter access to contact details

bioRxiv; Download PDF; Google Scholar