UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Adaptation of the Th-MYCN Mouse Model of Neuroblastoma for Evaluation of Disseminated Disease Rahavi, Seyed M.; Aletaha, Maryam; Farrokhi, Ali; Lorentzian, Amanda; Lange, Philipp F.; Maxwell, Chris; Lim, Chinten James; Reid, Gregor S. D.


High-risk neuroblastoma remains a profound clinical challenge that requires eradication of neuroblastoma cells from a variety of organ sites, including bone marrow, liver, and CNS, to achieve a cure. While preclinical modeling is a powerful tool for the development of novel cancer therapies, the lack of widely available models of metastatic neuroblastoma represents a significant barrier to the development of effective treatment strategies. To address this need, we report a novel luciferase-expressing derivative of the widely used Th-MYCN mouse. While our model recapitulates the non-metastatic neuroblastoma development seen in the parental transgenic strain, transplantation of primary tumor cells from disease-bearing mice enables longitudinal monitoring of neuroblastoma growth at distinct sites in immune-deficient or immune-competent recipients. The transplanted tumors retain GD2 expression through many rounds of serial transplantation and are sensitive to GD2-targeted immune therapy. With more diverse tissue localization than is seen with human cell line-derived xenografts, this novel model for high-risk neuroblastoma could contribute to the optimization of immune-based treatments for this deadly disease.

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