Melanoma model
Melanoma model - Gift from L. Lanfrancone, IEO

The EurOPDX Consortium: Sharing patient derived tumour xenografts for collaborative research projects and multicentre preclinical trials

The high failure rate in oncology drug development is posing significant challenges and novel approaches, including improved preclinical studies, are required. Patient derived tumour xenografts (PDX) are being increasingly recognised as clinically relevant preclinical models, as they maintain histopathological features and genetic profiles of the original patient tumours. Many PDXs have been established across Europe..

Breast cancer model
Breast cancer model - Gift from E. Marangoni, Institut Curie

It is now crucial to join forces and build large collections of models to cover cancer heterogeneity, and to raise standards in the preclinical setting. The EurOPDX Consortium is an initiative of translational and clinical researchers from 16 academic cancer centres and universities across 10 European countries, with the common goal of creating a network of clinically relevant models of human cancer, and in particular PDX models.

The main objectives of the EurOPDX Consortium are to:

  1. create a virtual collection of genomically and histologically characterised PDXs;
  2. harmonise working practices; and
  3. leverage the collection to investigate novel therapeutic strategies and uncover predictive biomarkers for personalised cancer treatment, through the performance of more effective and reproducible multicentre PDX studies with high predictability for success in the clinic.
Melanoma model
Lung metastasis, pancreatic model - Gift from M. Hidalgo, CNIO

Altogether, the Consortium displays a panel of more than 1,500 subcutaneous and orthotopic PDX models for more than 30 pathologies.

Through this collaborative academic effort and collaborations with pharmaceutical companies and SMEs involved in drug development, we aim to reduce duplication of efforts in oncology drug development and raise PDX models as the cornerstone of precision cancer medicine.

The evolution to more effective preclinical trials will streamline clinical proof-of-concept, ultimately reducing attrition in oncology clinical trials.

Download the project flyer