Translational Cancer Research

המעבדה למחקר תרגומי בסרטן
Head of the lab:
Prof. Salomon M. Stemmer, M.D
Phone: 972-3-9377914
Lab Manager:
Dr. Neta Moskovits, PhD
Phone: 972-3-9216126, 050-8424128
Research team:
    ד"ר אווה צ'אוסקי   
    ד"ר נטלי טרשנסקו   
    אלה יצחקי   
    רעיה מאירסון   
    אלכס קאופמן   
    אלה יצחקי (לתואר שלישי)    
Research Areas:

Personalized medicine requires the understanding of the tumor, vicinity, host and unknown factors. It remains a challenge to decide what are the relevant targets that drive tumor growth that should be prioritized for therapy.

PDX (Patient-derived xenografts) are tumor models in which a portion of a patient’s tumor is transplanted in immunodeficient mice (NSG/NRG), and allowed to propagate without any in vitro manipulation and are widely used today in the field of personalized medicine. The tumors grown in mice faithfully reflect the heterogeneity, molecular and histopathological signatures of the original tumor, and their drug response profiles correlate  with clinical response. Thus, PDX are considered to be reliable translational oncology platform and have become critical elements in preclinical drug development.
Our lab generate a repository of PDX models from various type of solid tumor; both from common  types (like colon, breast, pancreas, head and neck , gastric, ovarian etc.) as well as rare types (like bloom cancer, carcinosarcoma, neuroendocrine carcinoma)  or base on a specific clinical unmeant need (resistance to specific targeted therapy).
Our repository contain a collection of >500 tumor samples, and more than 200 PDX models are available for research.
In addition, tumor samples in the labinclude  the corresponding  formalin-fixed tumor tissue, frozen human material, patient's clinical data, and for some also patient's blood samples.

The lab is focusing on three main applications:

1. Personalized Medicine:

"bedside - to bench - to bedside”

PDX model with identification of tumor mutations and alterations, allow to test the efficiency of several targeted-therapies (predicted by mutation profile), thereby allowing the identification of a personalized therapeutic regimen.
Information found in PDX models may suggest the physician alternative treatment options that could tailor a better treatment for the specific patient (with recognition of the limitations associated with a mouse model).

2. Research projects in the lab:

Finding novel combination of anticancer therapies to improve efficacy and overcome resistance

2.2. Establish humanized PDX mice models
This project tries to "humanize" the immune-system of the immune deficient mice. The mice develops the patient own tumor and the same patient own immune system. This model better represent the complexity of the disease in patients, and allow to test treatments based on the interactions of the tumor with the immune system ("I/O” approaches). Also, the model allows to test the development of immune resistance in order to try to overcome this major problem.

2.3 . Liquid Biopsy: CTCs (Circulating Tumor Cells)
This project developed "CTC-derived xenografts” from patient’s CTCs as a functional approach for assessing the patient’s pre-metastatic disease state.
We study the potential tropism of the tumor cells to specific microenvironment, and explore the correlation between mutations in the primary tumor and metastasis, in order to understand whether it is possible to predict personalized anti-metastatic drug treatment based on the CTCs characteristic.

2.4. Patient derived primary cultures.
In parallel to PDX models for in-vivo studies, we establish an in-vitro platform of the patients tumor cells grown in 3D manner (spheroids) in culture.
This complementary in-vitro system allow to study in more depth findings derived from the in-vivo experiments (mechanism of actions , biomarkers etc), or to serve as a screening platform for the best treatment that will be chosen for validation in-vivo in the PDX models.

3. Collaborations with academia and biomedical industry:

The PDX models combined with the corresponding frozen tissue, FFPE and clinical data offer a valuable tool to perform advanced medical research, to try to develop newer anticancer therapies.
This resource are available for collaborative projects with academia and biotech companies.


RA-292C, Lung
Contact details
Dr. Neta Moskovits Mobile: 050-8424128
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