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Comparing Metastatic Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma Model Established in Mouse Kidney and on Chicken Chorioallantoic Membrane.

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Metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most common subtype of kidney cancer. Localized ccRCC has a favorable surgical outcome. However, one third of ccRCC patients will develop metastases to the lung, which is related to a very poor outcome for patients. Unfortunately, no therapy is available for this deadly stage, because the molecular mechanism of metastasis remains unknown. It has been known for 25 years that the loss of function of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene is pathognomonic of ccRCC. However, no clinically relevant transgenic mouse model of ccRCC has been generated. The purpose of this protocol is to introduce and compare two newly established animal models for metastatic ccRCC. The first is renal implantation in the mouse model. In our laboratory, the CRISPR gene editing system was utilized to knock out the VHL gene in several RCC cell lines. Orthotopic implantation of heterogeneous ccRCC populations to the renal capsule created novel ccRCC models that develop robust lung metastases in immunocompetent mice. The second model is the chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) system. In comparison to the mouse model, this model is more time, labor, and cost-efficient. This model also supported robust tumor formation and intravasation. Due to the short 10 day period of tumor growth in CAM, no overt metastasis was observed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in the collected embryo tissues. However, when tumor growth was extended by two weeks in the hatched chicken, micrometastatic ccRCC lesions were observed by IHC in the lungs. These two novel preclinical models will be useful to further study the molecular mechanism behind metastasis, as well as to establish new, patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) toward the development of novel treatments for metastatic ccRCC.

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