Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Dr. Xin Dong, MD

Staff Scientist

Tel: 604-675-8000 ext. 7011

Fax: 604-675-8183


  • Research Assistant
  • MSc (Pathology), China Medical University, 2003
  • MD (Medicine), China Medical University, 2000 



Research Interests:

My work involves inspecting the response/resistance to therapeutic drugs of living tumor tissue lines derived directly from patients' tumors using Subrenal Capsule Xenograft (SRCX) methodology. Working closely with my colleagues, our goal is to provide a highly predictive model for preclinical anticancer drug evaluation and personalized cancer therapy.

Currently, the standard cancer models for testing potential anticancer drugs are based on cultured human tumor cell lines and xenografts established by implanting the cultured cells subcutaneously into immuno-deficient mice. However, despite enormous efforts to identify effective anticancer drugs, there is a great disparity between preclinical results obtained in such animal models and results obtained with patients in clinical trials. Thus whereas drugs can be extremely effective in the standard animal models, they most of the time lack efficacy when tested in humans. The application and predictive value of these models are challenged in several aspects: lack of biological characteristics of patients' original tumors at histological, molecular and genetic levels, low tumor take rates (usually <20%) and inconsistent growth rates. It's also suggested that conventional subcutaneous xenograft models do not represent advanced metastatic disease which is a common situation in most cancer patients. Thus, preclinical predictive cancer models that are well characterized, biologically representative of patients' tumors, and maintain steady growth patterns in animals are critically required for testing of potential anticancer drugs and their successful use in the clinic.

Recently, the  Living Tumor Laboratory at the BCCRC has established SRCX models for human cancers via grafting of patients' tumor specimens under the renal capsules of severe combined immuno-deficient (SCID) mice and developing transplantable tumor tissue lines. Compared with conventional subcutaneous models, the SRCX models have several advantages: high tumor take rates (>95%), resemblance of the original patients' tumors at histological, molecular and genetic levels. Many of the models have predictable metastasis patterns. So far, more than 100 transplantable tumor tissue lines have been successfully established from patients' primary tumors from a wide range of organ sites, covering various cancer types and subtypes from early stage to advanced stage, and low grade to high grade.

In addition, we have developed a new strategy for personalized chemotherapy using first-generation SRCX xenografts. Such xenografts are closest to the original patients' tumors and closely mimic their biological characteristics, including drug sensitivity. They are hence most suitable for testing which drug regimens would be most effective for a particular patient. In fact, these first-generation xenografts have been shown to correctly predict clinical outcomes in 83.3% of patients. Working closely with surgeons, pathologists and oncologists, we are dedicated to provide reliable test results for individual patients with high efficiency before initiation of their chemotherapy.



Back to Personnel
Back to Main Page