John Copland on Patient-Derived Xenografts in Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer

October 27, 2015
John Copland, PhD

John Copland, PhD, faculty member in the department of cancer biology, Mayo Clinic, explains his research on patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models in anaplastic thyroid cancer.

John Copland, PhD, faculty member in the department of cancer biology, Mayo Clinic, explains his research on patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models in anaplastic thyroid cancer.

Anaplastic thyroid cancer has approximately a four to six-month median survival rate, and is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, says Copland. It is also a rare cancer, making it difficult to conduct clinical trials.

PDX models are developed using surgical tissue from patients that is implanted into immune-incompetent mice. Once the tumor has grown, various therapies and therapeutic combinations can be tested in each mouse model. These models are highly predictive of patient response, says Copland.

This technique could make it possible to create personalized treatments based on response rates in PDX models. Future patients with similar tumors could also benefit.