• The EurOPDX Research Infrastructure: Supporting European and worldwide cancer research with patient-derived xenografts

      Vinolo, E.; Arribas, J.; Bertotti, A.; Bruna, A.; Byrne, A. T.; Clarke, Robert B; Conte, N.; de Jong, S.; Decaudin, D.; Dudova, Z.; et al. (2020)
      Counteracting high failure rates in oncology drug development and improving therapeutic management of cancer patients requires preclinical models that can account for the complexity and heterogeneity of human tumors. Patient-derived cancer xenografts (PDXs) maintain histopathological features and genetic profiles of the original patient tumors and are increasingly recognized as reliable models to predict treatment efficacy and discover sensitivity and resistance biomarkers with immediate clinical relevance.Launched in 2013, the EurOPDX Consortium now gathers 18 academic research institutions throughout Europe and in the US (www.europdx.eu). The goal of the Consortium is to maximize exploitation of PDXs and other patient-derived models for cancer research by: (i) integrating institutional collections into a multicentre repository; (ii) defining common standards to improve the quality and reproducibility of oncology preclinical data; (iii) sharing models within and outside the consortium to perform collaborative precision oncology “xenopatient” trials. Building on its first successes, EurOPDX is now teaming up with other key academic and SME partners in a four-year project to build the “EurOPDX Distributed Infrastructure for Research on patient-derived Xenografts" (EDIReX project, Horizon 2020 grant no. 731105).This new cutting-edge European infrastructure offers access to PDX resources for academic and industrial cancer researchers through 6 state-of-the-art installations or “nodes”. We will present the specific objectives of the project, including our work towards standardization and optimization of biobanking, quality control and data tracking, and the performance of in vivo drug efficacy experiments. Access to the resource, including the distribution of cryopreserved samples from established models, the structured biobanking of user-developed models and the performance of drug efficacy studies, is offered through a grant application system which last deadline is planned mid-June 2020. Selection of the models by users and browsing of PDXs annotation data is made possible thanks to the newly-developed EurOPDX Data Portal (dataportal.europdx.eu), which will display approximately 1,000 models by April 2020 (including 700+ models of colorectal cancer, 80+ gastric and 80+ breast cancer models).We aim to improve preclinical and translational cancer research and promote innovation in oncology by integrating a European PDX repository and facilitating access to this much-needed resource for European and worldwide researchers.