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Cell Line and Xenograft Repository

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Patrick Reynolds, MD/PhD
Grant Type: 
Catalyst Grants
Year Awarded: 
Type of Childhood Cancer: 
General Pediatric Cancer
Project Description: 

The Children's Oncology Group (COG) Cell Line and Xenograft Repository was created to establish, bank and distribute childhood cancer cell lines (cancer cells growing in test tubes) and patient-derived xenografts (PDX), which are tumors from patients grown directly in specialized mice. The pediatric cancer cell lines and PDXs from the repository enable investigators worldwide to better understand the biology and genomics of childhood cancers. They are especially important as laboratory models of childhood cancer for development and testing of new drugs prior to therapeutic clinical trials. The cell lines and PDXs are an invaluable and renewable resource that, if maintained, will last indefinitely and enable research not feasible without the repository.

The support from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) is critical to maintaining and expanding the COG Cell Line and Xenograft Repository (CCcells.org). As the repository receives samples from patients with childhood cancer, they are cultivated, creating continuously developing cancer cultures called cell lines. The cancer cell line is then used to create a xenograft model, which is when human cancers grow in a mouse lacking an immune system.  The cell lines and PDXs come from patients with a variety of childhood cancers: neuroblastoma, brain tumors, leukemia, lymphoma, Ewing sarcoma, hepatoblastoma, osteosarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, Wilms tumor and retinoblastoma. In one year, The Repository distributes about 203 cell lines and PDXs to 47 laboratories in four countries. Since the repository was established, they have provided over 2,000 cell lines and PDXs to more than 450 laboratories in over 25 countries. Thus, the repository is a global resource for laboratory samples of childhood cancer. The next steps are to carry out extensive genomic characterization of the models and to compare responses to anti-cancer drugs in the models to responses seen in the patients whose cells established them.

Project Update (February 2023)

The repository has generated and banked  620 continuous PDCLs and 120 PDXs from childhood cancers. The Repository serves more than 500 labs in 30 countries, giving researchers around the world free access to the tools that could lead to more cures for children. Read more about the repository here.