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A novel xenograft model with intrinsic vascularisation for growing undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma NOS in mice

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Preclinical development of antisarcoma therapy is primarily based on the subcutaneous transplantation of sarcoma xenografts. Tumour cell survival remains a hurdle of current models, which has been attributed to the hypoxic conditions following transplantation. We hypothesised that sarcoma models with an intrinsic tissue-engineered vascular supply are easily reproducible. The aim of this study was to establish a novel vascularised xenograft model.

Materials and methods

Primary human soft tissue sarcomas were transplanted into a silicon chamber and placed around the superficial epigastric vessels of nude mice. Sarcoma xenograft samples were assessed histomorphologically.


All sarcoma xenografts engrafted, leading to solid tumours. Histological, immunohistochemical staining and light/electron microscopy confirmed the xenografts as identical high-grade pleomorphic sarcomas (NOS) compared with the original patients’ tumours.


This novel sarcoma xenograft model with an intrinsic vascular supply could be of high value for studying human soft tissue sarcomas and their therapy.

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This study was supported by the Cancer Association North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany (Krebsgesellschaft Nordrhein-Westfalen e.V.). We gratefully acknowledge the tissue engineering techniques that were developed at the Bernard O’Brien Institute of Medical Research and taught to the first author with the support of Professor Wayne Morrison (University of Melbourne, Australia).

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Correspondence to Daniel-Johannes Tilkorn.

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Tilkorn, D., Daigeler, A., Hauser, J. et al. A novel xenograft model with intrinsic vascularisation for growing undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma NOS in mice. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 138, 877–884 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00432-012-1163-9

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  • Pleomorhic sarcoma NOS
  • Athymic mice
  • Xenograft model
  • Soft tissue sarcoma