Establishment of patient-derived tumor xenografts (PDXs) is hampered by lymphomagenesis mostly caused by the latently-infected Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) contained in patient cancer tissues. However, the character of patient tissues that result in lymphomagenesis after xenotransplantation is not elucidated. In this study, we analyzed the patient colorectal cancer (CRC) tissues and the PDXs established by their xenotransplantation. We found that 2 of 9 (22%) PDX tumors were EBVassociated human diffuse large B cell lymphoma which was formed by clonal proliferation of human B-cell lymphocytes, were strongly positive for EBER-ISH, and were classified as type III latency. Expression of EBV genes and RNAs, such as EBNAs, LMP1, EBER and EBV-associated microRNAs in patient CRC tissues were unlikely to be associated with lymphomagenesis in PDXs. In contrast, the positive PCR-based amplification of BamHI W region, a major internal repeat in EBV genome, in the patient CRC tissues was correlated with lymphomagenesis in PDXs. These results suggest that the detection of the EBV BamHI W region in the patient surgical specimens will be an effective way to predict the risk of lymphomagenesis in PDXs before xenotransplantation.
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