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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Cancer 1/2017

Establishment of patient-derived gastric cancer xenografts: a useful tool for preclinical evaluation of targeted therapies involving alterations in HER-2, MET and FGFR2 signaling pathways

BMC Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2017
Haiyong Wang, Jun Lu, Jian Tang, Shitu Chen, Kuifeng He, Xiaoxia Jiang, Weiqin Jiang, Lisong Teng
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12885-017-3177-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Targeted therapies are emerging treatment options for gastric cancer (GC). Patient-derived tumor xenograft(PDX) models of GC closely retain the features of the original clinical cancer, offering a powerful tool for preclinical drug efficacy testing. This study aimed to establish PDX GC models, and explore therapeutics targeting Her2, MET(cMet), and FGFR2, which may assist doctor to select the proper target therapy for selected patients.


GC tissues from 32 patients were collected and implanted into immuno-deficient mice. Using immunohistochemistry(IHC) and fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH), protein levels and/or gene amplification of Her2, cMet and FGFR2 in those tissues were assessed. Finally, anti-tumor efficacy was tested in the PDX models using targeted inhibitors.


A total of 9 passable PDX models were successfully established from 32 gastric cancer xenograft donors, consisting of HER2,cMet and FGFR2 alterations with percentages of 4(12.5%), 8(25.0%) and 1(3.1%) respectively. Crizotinib and AZD4547 exerted marked antitumor effects exclusively in PDX models with cMet (G30,G31) and FGFR2(G03) amplification. Interestingly, synergistic antitumor activity was observed in G03 (FGFR2-amplifed and cMet non-amplified but IHC [2+]) with simultaneous treatment with Crizotinib and ADZ4547 at day 30 post-treatment. Further in vitro biochemistry study showed a synergistic inhibition of the MAPK/ERK pathway. HER2,cMet and FGFR2 alterations were found in 17 (10.4%), 32(19.6%) and 6(3.7%) in a group of 163 GC patients, and cMet gene amplification or protein overexpression(IHC 3+) was associated with poor prognosis.


These PDX GC models provide an ideal platform for drug screening and evaluation. GC patients with positive cMet or FGFR2 gene amplification may potentially benefit from cMet or FGFR2 targeted therapies or combined targeted therapy.
Additional file 1: Table S1. Characteristics of GC cohort patients. The clinical and pathological characteristics of 163 GC cohort patients were described in the table. (DOC 34 kb)
Additional file 2: Figure S1. Discordance of cMet status between primary tumors and xenografts in G23. cMet status of the primary tumor and first generation of G23 model were analyzed by IHC and FISH, results showed the discordance between primary tumors and xenografts. (DOC 277 kb)
Additional file 3: Figure S2. MAPK/ERK pathway was inhibited synergistically by a combination of crizotinib and AZD4547 in MET or FGFR2 amplified GC cells. GC cell line KATOIII(FGFR2 amplified) or SNU05(cMet amplified) was treated with 200nM/L crizotinib or 30nM/L AZD4547, either alone or as a combo treatment(Cri + AZD) for 1 hour. Cell lysates were immunoblotted for phospho- and total ERK1/2. (DOC 177 kb)
Additional file 4: Figure S3. No synergetic inhibition of ERK activation was observed in AGS cell line which was negative for MET or FGFR2 expression. (DOC 90 kb)
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