Complementarity of ultrasound and fluorescence imaging in an orthotopic mouse model of pancreatic cancer

Cynthia S Snyder, Sharmeela Kaushal, Yuko Kono, Hop S Tran Cao, Robert M Hoffman, Michael Bouvet
BMC Cancer2009
BACKGROUND: Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease characterized by dismal 5-year survival rates and limited treatment options. In an effort to provide useful models for preclinical evaluation of new experimental therapeutics, we and others have developed orthotopic mouse models of pancreatic cancer. The utility of these models for pre-clinical testing is dependent upon quantitative, noninvasive methods for monitoring in vivo tumor progression in real time. Toward this goal, we performed whole-body fluorescence imaging and ultrasound imaging to evaluate and to compare these noninvasive imaging modalities for assessing tumor burden and tumor progression in an orthotopic mouse model of pancreatic cancer. METHODS: The human pancreatic cancer cell line XPA-1, engineered for stable, high-level expression of red fluorescent protein (RFP), was implanted into the pancreas of nude mice using orthotopic implantation. The tumors were allowed to grow over a period of one to several weeks during which time the mice were imaged using both fluorescence imaging and ultrasound imaging to measure tumor burden and to monitor tumor growth. RESULTS: Whole-body fluorescence imaging and ultrasound imaging both allowed for the visualization and measurement of orthotopic pancreatic tumor implants in vivo. The imaging sessions were well-tolerated by the mice and yielded data which correlated well in the quantitative assessment of tumor burden. Whole-body fluorescence and two-dimensional ultrasound imaging showed a strong correlation for measurement of tumor size over a range of tumor sizes (R(2) = 0.6627, P = 0.003 for an exposure time of 67 msec and R(2) = 0.6553, P = 0.003 for an exposure time of 120 msec). CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest a complementary role for fluorescence imaging and ultrasound imaging in assessing tumor burden and tumor progression in orthotopic mouse models of human cancer.
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