Chordoma of the Spine

Rachel Sarabia Estrada, D.V.M., Ph.D., in collaboration with Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa's lab developed and characterized the first orthotopic animal model of human chordoma in an immunocompromised rat.

Chordoma is a slow-growing, malignant, locally aggressive cancer that is minimally responsive to conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and presents high local recurrence after surgical resection. The orthotopic chordoma animal model reproduces cardinal signs such as locomotor and sensory deficits similar to those observed clinically in patients with chordomas.

The model constitutes an advance for the study of this malignant disease, laying the groundwork for a broader study to improve the understanding of the neurological deficits that occur when chordoma affects the spine. Further study facilitated by this model will be essential for pathophysiology research and the development of new therapeutic strategies.

Project team

Lab members involved in developing and characterizing the lab's animal model of chordoma of the spine include: