Minute to Understanding: What is a PDX mouse?

What is a PDX mouse?

Discover how PDX mouse models are changing the field of personalized medicine.

Every one of us has a specific genetic code. While this makes us individually unique, it also makes it challenging to find treatments to diseases across genetically different people. Lucky for us, advances in modern technologies have enabled a movement in personalized medicine.

A personalized medicine approach takes a person’s unique genetic profile into account, so any treatment is targeted to that person and their specific condition. But how can you know which treatments are effective without testing on a patient?

A PDX mouse model, or patient-derived xenograft mouse model, allows researchers to test a variety of experimental treatments on a human cancer tumor tissue rather than testing directly on the patient.

This incredibly powerful technique starts when scientists analyze a patient’s tumor biopsy and identify the specific DNA variants that are driving the tumor creation. From here, the biopsy is implanted into several laboratory mice. Under carefully controlled environments, the researchers can test multiple cancer treatments simultaneously and observe how the implanted tumors respond. Researchers then can identify treatments that are most effective for the specific DNA variants found within the tumor. Once an effective treatment is found, it can then be used in future clinical trials on tumors with a similar genetic profile. The PDX mouse model is a huge step forward in the field of personalized medicine.

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