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Validation of transrectal ultrasonographic volumetry for orthotopic prostate tumours in mice.

Kraaij, R., van Weerden, W.M., de Ridder, C.M.A., Gussenhoven, E.J., Honkoop, J., Nasu, Y. and Bangma, C.H.

Laboratory Animals, 36(2), 165-172 (2002).

orthotopic human prostate tumour models in athymic nude mice are regarded as being most suitable for fundamental and pre-clinical research on prostate cancer. The anatomic localization of the tumour in the pelvis, however, provides little possibility for monitoring tumour growth or regression. To assess time-related changes in orthotopic tumour volume, we applied transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) to the murine prostate. This technique has the advantages of allowing accurate monitoring of tumours during therapeutic manipulations and a reduction of animal use due to a reduction of sacrificing endpoints. To validate the TRUS method, the mouse prostate reconstitution model, RM-9, and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) producing human prostate cancer xenograft PC-346 were used. Volumetric calliper measurements were performed with a 30 NHz ultrasound probe designed for intra-arterial use in humans. Tumour weight, determined at various time-points, was found to be closely related to actual tumour weight (R = 0.99) and, in the PC-346 model, to the level of PSA in the plasma. Furthermore, the interobserver variation for TRUS was low for tumours above 50 mg. Thus, TRUS for murine prostate tumours proves to be an accurate, reproducible and sensitive method.