Generation of prostate cancer patient derived xenograft models from circulating tumor cells

Estrelania S. Williams, Veronica Rodriquez-Bravo, Uma Chippada-Venkata, Janis De Ia Iglesia-Vicente, Yixuan Gong, Matthew Galsky, William Oh, Carlos Cordon-Cardo, Josep Domingo-Domenech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patient derived xenograft (PDX) models are gaining popularity in cancer research and are used for preclinical drug evaluation, biomarker identification, biologic studies, and personalized medicine strategies. Circulating tumor cells (CTC) play a critical role in tumor metastasis and have been isolated from patients with several tumor types. Recently, CTCs have been used to generate PDX experimental models of breast and prostate cancer. This manuscript details the method for the generation of prostate cancer PDX models from CTCs developed by our group. Advantages of this method over conventional PDX models include independence from surgical sample collection and generating experimental models at various disease stages. Density gradient centrifugation followed by red blood cell lysis and flow cytometry depletion of CD45 positive mononuclear cells is used to enrich CTCs from peripheral blood samples collected from patients with metastatic disease. The CTCs are then injected into immunocompromised mice; subsequently generated xenografts can be used for functional studies or harvested for molecular characterization. The primary limitation of this method is the negative selection method used for CTC enrichment. Despite this limitation, the generation of PDX models from CTCs provides a novel experimental model to be applied to prostate cancer research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere53182
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number104
StatePublished - Oct 20 2015


  • Circulating tumor cells
  • Human tissue samples
  • Intratumoral heterogeneity
  • Issue 104
  • Medicine
  • Patient derived xenograft
  • Preclinical models
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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