Preclinical CRO offering Xenograft Studies

Caki-1 Xenograft Model

Caki-1 Cell Line Derived Xenograft

Caki-1 is a cell line commonly used in cancer research. Specifically, it is a human renal cell carcinoma cell line derived from a patient with clear cell carcinoma. The cell line was established in 1975 and has been used in various studies to investigate the biology of kidney cancer and to test potential therapies. Caki-1 cells are known to be adherent, meaning they attach to surfaces, and grow relatively slowly compared to some other cancer cell lines. They are also sensitive to a number of chemotherapeutic agents and targeted therapies, making them a useful tool for studying the mechanisms of drug resistance in kidney cancer. The use of human cancer cells for evaluating novel therapeutics typically begins by determining anti-proliferative dose response in vitro.  However, due to the complexities of human tumors, more than one model (i.e. in vitro and in vivo) must be incorporated into the overall study design.  Xenograft RCC xenograft models are routinely used to test new, preclinical anti-cancer therapies.  Examples of this include using the Caki-1 cell line xenograft (CDX) to study antitumor efficacy of 5-FU, sorafenib or sunitinib.

Caki-1 is a cell line that was derived from a human renal clear cell carcinoma. It is commonly used as a model system for studying kidney cancer and for investigating the molecular mechanisms of cancer progression and drug resistance. Caki-1 cells are adherent and grow in vitro as monolayer cultures. They have a clear cytoplasm and express high levels of markers for renal cell carcinoma, such as carbonic anhydrase IX and CD10. Caki-1 cells are often used to investigate the effects of various drugs and compounds on kidney cancer cell growth and survival, as well as for testing the efficacy of new cancer therapies. Caki-1 cells are also useful for studying the molecular mechanisms of kidney cancer progression and drug resistance. They have been used to investigate the role of various signaling pathways, such as the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway and the HIF pathway, in kidney cancer cell growth and survival. Caki-1 cells are also commonly used for screening compounds for their potential to modulate kidney cancer cell function and for developing drugs that target kidney cancer.

In summary, Caki-1 cells are a valuable cell line in biomedical research due to their utility in studying kidney cancer and for investigating the molecular mechanisms of cancer progression and drug resistance. They are a widely used model system for investigating the molecular mechanisms of kidney cancer biology and for identifying potential targets for the treatment of kidney cancer.

Mutations CDKN2A(mut)
Origin Kidney
Disease Clear Cell Carcinoma
Metastatic Models (Kidney) N/A
Non-Metastatic Models (Kidney) A498, 786-O, Caki-1, HEK-293, Renca

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Caki-1 Xenograft Model

What is a Xenograft?

Development of an anti-cancer therapeutic requires intense, well planned studies that follow a streamlined path for success.  Primary studies are performed in an in vitro setting that allows for high throughput screening and analysis of multiple compounds of interest.  This method enables a focused compound screening approach of multiple cell lines within a specific cancer type, or a divergent approach across a broad range of cancer types.  Ultimately, in vitro screening results need to be confirmed in an animal model due to in vitro inadequacies of cells cultured on plastic, as this method is far removed from the microenvironment of a tumor.

As the logical next step in therapeutic development is the administration of the test compound in a living animal, a cell line derived xenograft model (CDX) is created by inoculating human cancer cell lines in test animals.  The injected cell lines grow into established tumors, thus, permitting efficacy studies of the test compounds.  An alternative to CDX models is the patient derived tumor xenograft (PDX) which consists of implanting human tumor fragments directly in a mouse model.  The PDX model avoids concerns with the CDX model since the tumor is never grown on plastic and there is no selection for single cell populations.  In contrary to CDX models, the ideology of PDX models is to maintain the cell population, structure and stroma of the initial tumor.

Why use Xenograft Models?

Cell line derived xenograft (CDX) models or patient derived tumor xenograft (PDX) models enable a larger realm of parameters to be studied not capable with in vitro studies.  The complete animal system model expands the scope of studies available to include the effect of test compounds on pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamics (PD), alternate routes of delivery, inhibition of metastasis, CBCs, dosing regimens, dose levels, etc.  However, one of the major drawbacks of CDX and PDX models is that the human cancer cell lines or human patient derived tumors must be implanted in immunocompromised mice in order to bypass the graft versus host rejection by the animal.  With the increasing focus of the immune systems role in the recognition and elimination of tumor cells (i.e. immunotherapy), major consideration must be taken into account during experimental concept design of the limitation of checkpoint inhibitors or desired immune response involvement in tumor efficacy.  Similarly, any tumor regression after treatment with a test compound in these models will not exhibit the potential complement cascade or innate immune response of the injected therapeutic in humans.

What we offer?

Our in vivo xenograft service department evaluates the efficacy of preclinical and clinical cancer therapeutics utilizing more than 90 validated immunocompromised xenograft mouse models.  The value of utilizing our xenograft service department is highlighted by the ability to completely characterize the efficacy, dose regimen, dose levels and optimal combination ratios of lead compounds for cancer, obesity, diabetes, infections and immunology research.

During the design and execution of the xenograft study, our scientists will communicate with and assist the client’s decisions regarding these details:

  • Study Group Formation: classification of mice by body weight, tumor size or other parameters
  • Cancer Cell Line: use of in-house cell lines or utilization of customer-provided cell lines
  • Tumor Implantation: intraperitoneal, subcutaneous, submuscular or intravenous
  • Test Compound Administration: intraperitoneal, intravenous, tail vein, subcutaneous, topical, oral gavage, osmotic pumps or subcutaneous drug pellets
  • Sample Collection: Tumors/tissues can be fixed in 10% NBF, frozen in liquid N2 or stabilized in RNAlater; blood chemistry analysis can be performed throughout the in-life portion of study


Our vivarium is designed such that it enables cost-effective and first-rate preclinical effectiveness testing services. All animal handling and maintenance is regulated following IACUC guidelines.  Our facility consists of the following:

  • IACUC-regulated and GLP-compliant
  • Controlled, limited access lab areas
  • Disposable cages
  • Sterile food and water
  • SPF (specific pathogen-free) animals to guarantee pathogens do not interfere with the experiment
  • Established animal handling and micro-injection equipment systems, including an animal health observation program
  • All studies follow pre-approved SOPs

Our staff understands that each proposed study design is unique and customized to the client’s needs.  We also recognize the importance of the delivered results as being confidential, highly reproducible and that 100% of the intellectual property (IP) is owned by the client.

In order to receive a quote for your xenograft study, email us the specific details listed below in order to efficiently begin the study quote process:

  • Cancer cell line(s) used in the study
  • Number (n=) of animals in each study group
  • Number of study groups and control groups
  • Tumor implantation route
  • Administration route of test compound
  • Species of immunocompromised mouse (e.g. NOD/SCID, athymic Nude)
  • Treatment and dose schedule
  • Study endpoint and analysis (e.g. tumor growth delay, PK/PD, survival, toxicity, drug combinations)
  • Samples collected: tumor and tissues to be collected, including storage condition (e.g. snap frozen, RNAlater, 10% NBF, nucleic acid isolation)

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Caki-1 Xenograft Model