PROPEL: Public Resource of Patient-derived and Expanded Leukemias

  

Providing leukemia xenograft resources for the global research community

 
Two St. Jude researchers in the lab

PROPEL offers one of the world’s largest collections of patient-derived xenografts (PDX) for adult and pediatric leukemias. Academic researchers may request PDX samples free of charge under a material transfer agreement and with no obligation to collaborate.

Visit the PROPEL data portal to browse hundreds of available leukemia xenograft samples, submit a request and view associated genetic data for xenografts and primary tumors. Samples have been derived from diverse subtypes of B- and T-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute erythroid leukemia, and mixed-phenotype acute leukemia. Additional subtypes and cases of acute leukemia, including acute myeloid leukemia, are continually being established and added to the resource.

Go to PROPEL Portal

About PROPEL

Leukemias are a leading cause of cancer-related death in children and adults, despite therapeutic advances that have improved outcomes. Furthermore, long-term side effects of treatment often lead to serious challenges for survivors.

PROPEL is an initiative of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital that is designed to advance fundamental research on the biology of leukemia and help develop cures by sharing unique xenograft samples with researchers around the world. PROPEL was developed by the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center Hematological Malignancies Program, the co-leaders of which are Charles G. Mullighan, MBBS (Hons), MSc, MD, and Ching-Hon Pui, MD.

For more information, visit stjuderesearch.org/propel or contact us at propel@stjude.org.

 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. The request must be approved by the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center Hematological Malignancies Program pre-clinical committee. Once the request is approved an MTA will be established between St. Jude (and, where applicable, the institution or cooperative group that provided the primary material) and the requesting institution. The shipping address will be confirmed and one frozen vial per requested sample will be shipped on dry ice along with the protocol to propagate xenografts (using the requester’s shipping account number).

  2. We will endeavor to respond to each request within a week. The exact timeline to receive samples will depend on the following:

    • Number of vials we have of the requested sample. If a sample requires propagation on our end, the timeline will typically be several weeks, depending on the growth kinetics of the tumor. Time to engraftment of the primary xenograft is listed on the PROPEL sample search page. However, more than 85% of samples are available for immediate release without further propagation and expansion at St Jude.
    • Length of time required to establish an MTA with the requesting institution.
  3. Our aim is to share samples to propel research in the field. To reduce the risk of depleting valuable samples and to avoid issues involved in shipping large number of cryovials, we ask that requests are limited to 5 samples. Scientifically justified requests for more than 5 vials will require consultation and approval. Please detail reasons for larger requests in the comments section of the request form.

  4. One frozen vial each of the requested PDXs will be shipped on dry ice along with instructions for optimal thawing and propagation conditions. Each vial will typically have 20-40 x 106 cells. The requester can propagate and expand the cells in his or her lab.

  5. Primary and xenografted cells typically show poor proliferation in vitro, particularly after thawing. It is recommended that the requester propagate and expand cells in vivo for their own stocks. When shipped, samples will come with instructions for optimal thawing and propagation conditions.

  6. Include the question in the request form or email directly at propel@stjude.org. If you are not able to successfully propagate the cells despite following the protocol we share, we will help you troubleshoot. This may or may not involve shipping another vial of the requested xenograft. After successful propagation, validation of xenografts will be the responsibility of the requester.

  7. PDX material can only be transferred with an MTA signed between St. Jude (and where applicable, the institution or cooperative group that provided the primary material) and the requesting institution. This helps clarify the ownership conditions and specifies how the material can be used.

  8. Please describe PROPEL as an initiative of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and cite the URL stjuderesearch.org/propel.

  9. No. All materials received from PROPEL must remain with the requesting investigator, and may not be shared with other investigators at the same institution or elsewhere without explicit approval. Please encourage other interested researchers to contact us directly by filling out the request form.

  10. The majority of primary diagnosis and corresponding xenograft samples have been subjected to verification of key oncogenic lesions (e.g. rearrangements and fusions) and/or transcriptome and whole genome sequencing. Genomic data may be interrogated at the PROPEL genomic webpage linked to the PROPEL sample search page. Sequencing data are continually added to this resource. In general, the primary diagnosis and 1-2 representative xenografts are sequenced. Verification of the presence of specific genomic lesions in any sample are the responsibility of the requestor.