Preclinical Therapeutics

Vivarium and Transgenics Core

VARI’s Preclinical Therapeutics offers full service preclinical solutions and works directly with clients to meet their specific research needs. In addition to conducting the preclinical study, this service offers study design, IACUC protocol preparation, human tumorgraft/cell line testing, integrated project management, and report preparation.

Preclinical Therapeutics offers coordinated project management and integrated interaction with other VARI Core Services (e.g., Small Animal Imaging Facility (SAIF), Flow Cytometry and Pathology) and provides clients with direct and real-time access to study progress and data formatting. Preclinical Therapeutics personnel have more than 30 years combined experience working with small animal models. The client interacts with a single project manager, rather than multiple managers, which allows for rapid turnaround time from project inception to deliverables.

In addition to traditional subcutaneous xenograft/allograft-based models used in pharmacological and target validation testing, the service offers two additional model systems:

  • PDX models: A large portfolio of >80 patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models developed from fresh human tumor tissue
  • Orthotopic models: A panel of orthotopic models (brain, pancreas, lung, prostate, etc.) to study phenotypes relevant to specific cancer types.

Such novel model systems allow in vivo interrogation of clinically relevant cancer phenotypes such as metastasis, and tumor and stroma interactions — tumor relationships typically not feasible in the traditional subcutaneous cell-line xenograft models. The PDX models were developed at VARI and are maintained in collaboration with clinical sites throughout the United States. Each model is characterized with tracking of histological features for comparison to the originating patient tissue to document phenotype(s) in the preclinical model. For many models, the attached patient clinical history, genomic profiles, and archived donor tissue is available for retrospective analysis for specific project needs. The availability of the genomic, histologic, and clinical data specific to each model offers significant leverage for study designs with maximum clinical relevance.

Service list

  1. PDX model development
  2. Subcutaneous xenograft and allograft cancers model development
  3. Orthotopic engraftment model development
  4. Pharmacological testing
  5. Target validation testing 

For more information, please contact Bryn Eagleson at 616.234.5260. If requesting xenotransplantation services, please read VARI’s Xenotransplantation Checklist.