The goal of this project, led by principal investigator Xiao-Nan Li, MD, PhD, Texas Children’s Hospital-Baylor College of Medicine, is to develop and characterize a panel of primary tumor-based orthotopic xenograft mouse models of pediatric low-grade glioma for broad distribution and use in understanding the biology and testing of novel therapies. Using surgical protocols that have successfully achieved greater than 70% (20 models from 28 specimens) tumor take rate in malignant pediatric brain tumors, researchers aim to develop 4-5 transplantable orthotopic xenograft models through direct implantation of 20-25 fresh surgical specimens of low grade gliomas into anatomically matched locations in mouse brains. Detailed characterization of the xenograft tumors will be performed to make sure they faithfully replicate the biology of the original patient’s tumor, and to identify all genetic abnormalities. The research team will also examine if cancer stem cells play a role in determining the xenograft forming capabilities by correlating cancer stem cell frequencies in patient tumors with their tumor take rate.
Funded in 2008.