Purpose: Pediatric adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare and highly aggressive malignancy. Conventional chemotherapeutic agents have shown limited utility and are largely ineffective in treating children with advanced ACC. The lack of cell lines and animal models of pediatric ACC has hampered the development of new therapies. Here we report the establishment of the first pediatric ACC xenograft model and the characterization of its sensitivity to selected chemotherapeutic agents. Experimental Design: A tumor from an 11-year-old boy with previously untreated ACC was established as a subcutaneous xenograft in immunocompromised CB17 scid-/- mice. The patient harbored a germline TP53 G245C mutation, and the primary tumor showed loss of heterozygosity with retention of the mutated TP53 allele. Histopathology, DNA fingerprinting, gene expression profiling, and biochemical analyses of the xenograft were conducted and compared with the primary tumor and normal adrenal cortex. The second endpoint was to assess the preliminary antitumor activity of selected chemotherapeutic agents. Results: The xenograft maintained the histopathologic and molecular features of the primary tumor. Screening the xenograft for drug responsiveness showed that cisplatin had a potent antitumor effect. However, etoposide, doxorubicin, and a panel of other common cancer drugs had little or no antitumor activity, with the exception of topotecan, which was found to significantly inhibit tumor growth. Consistent with these preclinical findings, topotecan as a single agent in a child with relapsed ACC resulted in disease stabilization. Conclusion: Our study established a novel TP53-associated pediatric ACC xenograft and identified topotecan as a potentially effective agent for treating children with this disease.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research