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Establishment of an in vivo model for pediatric Ewing tumors by transplantation into NOD/scid mice

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Hermann Josef Vormoor


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Ewing tumors are a clinically heterogeneous group of childhood sarcomas that represent a paradigm for understanding solid tumor biology, as they are the first group of sarcomas for which a chromosome translocation has been characterized at the molecular level. However, the biologic organization of the tumor, especially the processes that govern proliferation, differentiation, and metastasis of primitive tumor stem cells is poorly understood. Therefore, to develop a biologically relevant in vivo model, five different Ewing tumor cell lines and primary tumor cells from three patients were transplanted into immune-deficient mice via intravenous injection. NOD/scid mice that carry a complex immune deficiency and thus nearly completely lack the ability to reject human cells were used as recipients. Overall, 26 of 52 mice (50%) transplanted with VH-64, WE-68, CADO-ES1, TC-71, and RM-82 cells and 4 of 10 mice (40%) transplanted with primary tumor cells engrafted. Moreover, primary cells that did not grow in vitro proliferated in mice. The pattern of metastasis was similar to that in patients with frequent metastases in lungs (62%), bone marrow (30%), and bone (23%). Using limiting dilution experiments, the frequency of the engraftment unit was estimated at 1 Ewing tumor-initiating cell in 3 x 10(5) VH-64 cells. These data demonstrate that we have been able to establish an in vivo model that recapitulates many aspects of growth and progression of human Ewing tumors. For the first time, this model provides the opportunity to identify and characterize primitive in vivo clonogenic solid tumor stem cells. This model will, therefore, be instrumental in studying many aspects of tumor cell biology, including organ-selective metastasis and tumor angiogenesis.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vormoor J, Baersch G, Decker S, Hotfilder M, Schäfer KL, Pelken L, Rübe C, van Valen F, Jürgens H, Dockhorn-Dworniczak B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Pediatric Research

Year: 2001

Volume: 49

Issue: 3

Pages: 332-341

Print publication date: 01/03/2001

ISSN (print): 0031-3998

ISSN (electronic): 1530-0447


DOI: 10.1203/00006450-200103000-00006

Notes: 0031-3998 (Print) Journal Article


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