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Patient-Derived Models of Cancer (PDMC) Program

Image of a patient-derived model system.

The Patient-Derived Models of Cancer (PDMC) program, funded through PAR-16-344, is developing and characterizing patient-derived models to define the biological mechanisms that drive cancer phenotype and response to perturbations. The program is testing and comparing distinct patient-derived models developed from common patient samples with the objective of improving the understanding of the strengths and limitations of different patient-derived models as representatives of human tumors. 

Additionally, the program is undertaking systematic studies of patient-derived model parameters related to intrinsic tumor factors and microenvironmental pressures to explore fundamental cancer biology research questions. The goal of the PDMC is to improve patient-derived models for cancer biology research that may inform the development of novel cancer therapies. 


In a Cell Stem Cell study supported by the PDMC and the Cancer Tissue Engineering Collaborative (TEC), Ding et al. generated 3D colorectal cancer patient-derived micro-organospheres that enable rapid high throughput drug testing. This technology overcomes limitations of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models, such as data for clinical treatment decisions can be obtained within 14 days of diagnosis with the material from biopsy, retaining the tumor microenvironment, and capturing patient responses to immunotherapy. 

A summary of this research focusing on the development of a new cancer model can be found in a Medical Xpress article


Co-Chairs of the PDMC Steering Committee

Dr. Nora Navone (MD Anderson Cancer Center) - She is developing patient-derived models of prostate cancer that enable mechanistic studies of response and resistance to therapy. 

Dr. Jonathan Brody (Oregon Health & Science University) - His PDMC project is generating and analyzing patient-derived models of pancreatic cancer to increase the understanding of tumor biology and to identify better therapeutic strategies. 

  • PDX Finder – A comprehensive global catalogue of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models and their associated data across resources
  • NCI Patient -Derived Models Repository (PDMR) - A national repository of patient-derived models, including (PDXs), patient-derived tumor cell cultures and cancer associated fibroblasts, as well as patient-derived organoids
  • PDXNet Portal – A database of PDX models, sequencing data, and PDX Minimum Information metadata tools generated by the PDXNet [inline link to NET Moonshot page] (which is funded by the Cancer Moonshot) for public use.

DCB Contact for the PDMC 

For additional information about PDMC, please contact Dr. Konstantin Salnikow.

Funded Projects

Funded Projects (as of April 2021)
Institution Principal Investigator(s) Project Title
Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Xiao-Nan Li Matching Panels of in vivo and in vitro Model System of Pediatric Brain Tumors
Oregon Health & Science University Rosalie C. Sears, Jonathan Brody, Lisa M. Coussens, Emek Demir  Comparative Analysis between Patient-derived Models of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinomas and Matched Tumor Specimens
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Nora Navone, Yu Chen, Phillip A. Futreal Patient-Derived Models of Prostate Cancer for Personalized Medicine
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Sean J. Morrison The Metabolic Regulation of Melanoma Metastasis
Yale University Katerina A. Politi, Don X. Nguyen Uncovering the Biology of Resistance to TKI in EGFR Mutant Lung Cancer
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