Gene expression profiling using microarrays and xenograft transplants of human cancer cell lines are both popular tools to investigate human cancer. However, the undefined degree of cross hybridization between the mouse and human genomes hinders the use of microarrays to characterize gene expression of both the host and the cancer cell within the xenograft. Since an increasingly recognized aspect of cancer is the host response (or cancer–stroma interaction), we describe here a bioinformatic manipulation of the Affymetrix profiling that allows interrogation of the gene expression of both the mouse host and the human tumour. Evidence of microenvironmental regulation of epithelial mesenchymal transition of the tumour component
in vivois resolved against a background of mesenchymal gene expression. This tool could allow deeper insight to the mechanism of action of anti-cancer drugs, as typically novel drug efficacy is being tested in xenograft systems.