Tumor Models for Pancreatic Cancer

Tumor Models for Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the most common type of PC, with stroma content accounting for 90% of the total tumor volume. Extracellular matrix (ECM) components (such as collagen, cell adhesion proteins, and hyaluronic acid) and cellular components (such as cancer-associated fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and immune cells) promote PC tumor progression and metastasis, metabolism, and angiogenesis. These tumor microenvironment (TME) components form a fibrotic area that can prevent drugs from reaching the tumor. There is a growing demand for preclinical models that can accurately mimic a patient's TME. Alfa Cytology is a leading biology contract research organization (CRO). We have years of experience in constructing tumor models for PC. Several popular PC models are available at our company, including PC cell models, PC organoids, genetically engineered mouse models, and transplantation models. Each model has its own characteristics and applications.

Classical pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) models.Fig.1 Classical pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) models. (Swayden, M., et al., 2020)

The service offering at Alfa Cytology

Newly established PC cell lines may provide sufficient models for studying the broader biological and molecular features of PC. We have established cell culture-based methods for tumor cell isolation and expansion for further molecular and functional testing, including in vitro 2D and 3D culture systems.

Organoid models can reproduce the three-dimensional structure of tumors and can be controlled manually, overcoming the limitations of traditional models and gaining more and more attention. Our scientists have studied different types of cell culture conditions and can support normal and malignant human pancreatic tissue cultures. The organoid models established from our platform can be used to explore PC tumorigenesis and tumor development and therapeutic testing.

As one of the important in vivo models, genetically engineered mouse models not only inspire the biology of PC and highlight the importance of tumor stroma, but also have the ability to elucidate potential therapeutic and diagnostic targets. To meet experimental requirements in terms of quantity and quality, Alfa Cytology has launched a systematic animal model transgenic platform for PC research. Our platform is based on a series of technologies, such as conditional gene knockout technology and CRISPR-Cas9 technology.

Over the past decades, xenograft models have been a backbone of cancer research, providing an effective environment for the study and evaluation of novel drug compounds. We can construct different types of xenograft models for PC research, including cancer cell line-derived xenografts (CDXs), spheroid-based xenografts (SDXs), organoid-derived xenografts (ODXs), and patient-derived xenografts (PDXs).

Pancreatic Cancer Cell Research

Besides, we also offer a complete suite of laboratory services, including:

  • Experimental consultation and design
  • Selection of appropriate cell line/cancer model
  • Host animal selection
  • Experimental observation and recording
  • Post-experiment analysis

In order to further explore the mechanism of PC occurrence, development, invasion, and metastasis, and to promote the research of new therapeutic targets, it is necessary to establish a suitable preclinical model of PC. Alfa Cytology is dedicated to offering different preclinical cell models for PC research and the development of successful therapeutic regimens. Based on our advanced platforms and experienced scientists, we can establish customized, cost-effective, and stable PC models to meet the specific requirements of our global customers. We are also working on developing new models and modeling approaches. If you are interested in our services, please feel free to contact us. You can get in touch with our staff directly and receive professional, reliable, and fast feedback.


  1. Miquel, Maria, Shuman Zhang, and Christian Pilarsky. "Pre-clinical Models of Metastasis in Pancreatic Cancer." Frontiers in cell and developmental biology (2021): 2825.
  2. Osuna de la Peña, David, et al. "Bioengineered 3D models of human pancreatic cancer recapitulate in vivo tumour biology." Nature communications 12.1 (2021): 1-15.
  3. Tomás-Bort, Elena, et al. "3D approaches to model the tumor microenvironment of pancreatic cancer." Theranostics 10.11 (2020): 5074.
  4. Swayden, Mirna, Philippe Soubeyran, and Juan Iovanna. "Upcoming revolutionary paths in preclinical modeling of pancreatic adenocarcinoma." Frontiers in oncology 9 (2020): 1443.
All of our services are intended for preclinical research use only and cannot be used to diagnose, treat or manage patients.