Preclinical CRO offering Xenograft Studies

Hep3B Xenograft Model

Hep3B Cell Line Derived Xenograft

Due to its widespread use in cancer research, the Hep3B cell line has become a well-characterized and widely available resource for investigators studying liver cancer and related diseases. It is also commonly used as a model system for studying other types of cancer, such as breast and lung cancer. Due to the lack of syngeneic tumor mouse models of liver cancer, the Hep3B cell line derived xenograft (CDX) is widely used in preclinical studies.  The high tumor take percentage associated with this model, coupled with ability to readily measure subcutaneous tumors makes the Hep3B CDX model ideal for anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor formation therapeutic studies, such as mTOR inhibitors or miRNAs (i.e. let-7).  Also, due to an integrated hepatitis B genome, this HBV-related model continually secretes and is utilized for studying the inhibition of HBsAg (hepatitis B surface antigen). Hep3B xenograft is a research model in which Hep3B cells, a human liver cancer cell line, are transplanted into animals, typically mice, to study tumor growth, response to treatment, and other aspects of cancer biology. The Hep3B xenograft model is particularly useful for studying drug resistance mechanisms and developing new cancer therapies, as Hep3B cells are known for their high resistance to conventional chemotherapeutic drugs. Researchers can use this model to evaluate the effectiveness of new drugs or drug combinations against liver cancer, and to identify mechanisms of drug resistance that can be targeted to improve treatment outcomes.

*NOTE: The Hep3B cell line and all IP rights belong to the Wistar Institute. All clients will obtain licensing from Wistar Institute before any xenograft studies are initiated using the Hep3B cell line.

Hep3B No noted mutations
Origin Liver
Disease Hepatoma
Metastatic Models (Liver) SK-HEP-1
Non-Metastatic Models (Liver) H22, Hepa1-6Hep3B, HepG2, Huh7, SMMC-7721

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Hep3B 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 50 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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Hep3B Xenograft Model