The In Vivo Evaluation Program develops in vivo and in vitro models for the National Cancer Institute’s Patient-Derived Models Repository and generates preclinical data to support early-phase clinical trials and pharmacodynamics. 

The PDMR is a resource for public–private partnerships and academic institutions’ drug discovery efforts. It comprises patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) and in vitro patient-derived cell cultures (PDCs), organoids (PDOrgs), and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). We generate these models and annotate them, both early-passage and clinically, with molecular information available in a public database for researchers worldwide.

Our efforts are focused on development of models to represent clinically relevant molecular subtypes for major histologies, models from rare cancers, and models from racial and ethnic minorities. Wherever possible, the program is attempting to develop a matched set of PDX:PDOrg:PDC:CAF models for each patient tumor sample submitted to empower translational research.

An extensive collection of available cancer models 

 The PDMR has more than 847 PDX in vivo models and 350 PDOrg, 367 PDC, and 384 CAF in vitro cultures publicly available for distribution. We have established an extensive quality control workflow, from the initial tumor implantation and primary in vitro culture through the final generation of models. We develop and maintain publicly available standard operating procedures. Our group performs in vivo preclinical studies supporting the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis’ efforts, including both PDX and NCI-60 cell line xenograft models.  

Patient Derived Models Repository workflow
Researcher Resource

Access the NCI Patient-Derived Models Repository

View the broad collection of various patient-derived cancer models, clinically annotated with molecular information, available within an easily accessible database.

Expanding the Patient-Derived Models Repository 

The PDMR diligently adds models as they pass internal quality control criteria. We are working on an initiative to develop models of blood cancers, including multiple myeloma, acute myeloid leukemia, and myelodysplastic syndrome.  

Development of patient-derived xenograft models 

We develop models for common cancer types and rare and recalcitrant cancers. Our team continues to expand the types of models available to researchers. 

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  • Common cancer PDXs (lung, breast, etc.) 

  • Sarcoma 

  • Small cell lung cancer 

  • Pancreatic cancer 

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Development of patient-derived in vitro cell cultures 

One of our key goals, wherever possible, is to develop matched in vitro models to all existing PDX models. 

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  • PDCs 

  • CAFs 

  • PDOrgs 

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Preclinical studies to support early-phase clinical trials and pharmacodynamic efforts 

We perform qualitative and quantitative assessment for preclinical studies to enable rankings of responses across models and therapeutic agents (small molecules, targeted inhibitors, chemotherapeutics, and other agents). Our team carefully validates each model to confirm consistency with the patient’s tumor histology, mouse content, short tandem repeat (STR) analysis, whole-exome sequencing, and gene expression analysis. 

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  • Subcutaneous implantation 

  • Qualitative and quantitative assessment 

  • Human equivalent dose and schedules 

FNL scientist presenting his poster at AACR23
AACR23 poster presentation

Comparing 22 matched patient-derived cell lines from different origin material

These models were similar at the genetic and phenotypic level when compared to the original tumor.
Two FNL scientists stand in front of their AACR23 poster
AACR23 poster presentation

Classifying breast cancer PDX models to help determine better treatments

Molecular subclassification of NCI PDMR breast cancer models using PAM50 gene expression signature.