Establishing an immunocompromised porcine model of human cancer for novel therapy development with pancreatic adenocarcinoma and irreversible electroporation


New therapies to treat pancreatic cancer are direly needed. However, efficacious interventions lack a strong preclinical model that can recapitulate patients’ anatomy and physiology. Likewise, the availability of human primary malignant tissue for ex vivo studies is limited. These are significant limitations in the biomedical device field. We have developed RAG2/IL2RG deficient pigs using CRISPR/Cas9 as a large animal model with the novel application of cancer xenograft studies of human pancreatic adenocarcinoma. In this proof-of-concept study, these pigs were successfully generated using on-demand genetic modifications in embryos, circumventing the need for breeding and husbandry. Human Panc01 cells injected subcutaneously into the ears of RAG2/IL2RG deficient pigs demonstrated 100% engraftment with growth rates similar to those typically observed in mouse models. Histopathology revealed no immune cell infiltration and tumor morphology was highly consistent with the mouse models. The electrical properties and response to irreversible electroporation of the tumor tissue were found to be similar to excised human pancreatic cancer tumors. The ample tumor tissue produced enabled improved accuracy and modeling of the electrical properties of tumor tissue. Together, this suggests that this model will be useful and capable of bridging the gap of translating therapies from the bench to clinical application.



tumor xenografts, ablation, mouse, gemcitabine, safety, mice, pigs, immunodeficiency, chemotherapy, feasibility