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School of Medicine




Colorectal cancer ranks third among the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States. Current therapies have a range of side effects, and the development of a reliable animal model to speed the discovery of safe effective preventative therapies would be of great value. A cross-sectional study in a large Appalachian population recently showed an association between low circulating levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and a reduced prevalence of colorectal cancer. A study using APCmin(C57BL/6J-ApcMin/J) mice prone to familial adenomatous polyposis found PFOS was protective when exposure occurred during tumor development. To test the possible benefit of PFOS on spontaneous colorectal cancer, we developed a mouse model utilizing primary patient colorectal cancer implants into NSG (NOD.Cg- PrkdcscidIl2rgtm1Wjl/Sz) mice. Study goals included: (1) to assess potential factors supporting the successful use of colorectal cancer from heterogeneous tumors for PDX studies; and, (2) evaluate PFOS as a therapy in tumor matched pairs of mice randomized to receive PFOS or vehicle. The time in days for mice to grow primary tumors to 5 mm took almost 2 months (mean = 53.3, se = 5.7, range = 17–136). Age of mice at implantation, patient age, gender and race appeared to have no discernable effect on engraftment rates. Engraftment rates for low and high-grade patient tumors were similar. PFOS appeared to reduce tumor size dramatically in one group of tumors, those from the right ascending colon. That is, by 5 weeks of treatment in two mice, PFOS had eliminated their 52.4 mm3 and 124.6 mm3 masses completely, an effect that was sustained for 10 weeks of treatment; in contrast, their corresponding matched vehicle control mice had tumors that grew to 472.7 mm3 and 340.1 mm3 in size respectively during the same period. In a third xenograft mouse, the tumor growth was dramatically blunted although not eliminated, and compared favorably to their matched vehicle controls over the same period. These preliminary findings suggested that this mouse model may be advantageous for testing compounds of potential value in the treatment of colorectal cancer, and PFOS may have utility in selected cases.

Source Citation

Wimsatt et al. (2018), Assessment of a mouse xenograft model of primary colorectal cancer with special reference to perfluorooctane sulfonate. PeerJ 6:e5602; DOI 10.7717/peerj.5602



2018 Wimsatt et al.

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