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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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Real-time assessment of intraperitoneal tumor growth in a rat model using CEA immunoscintigraphy.

Pross, M., Schulz, H.U., Gunther, T., Honl, K., Mantke, R. Koch, A. Halangk, W. Reymond, M.A. and Lippert, H.

Surgery, 129(6), 745-748 (2001).

Background. In most preclinical models, assessment of intraperitoneal tumor location and size require killing the animal. The dynamics of postoperative intraperitoneal tumor implantation and growth remain unclear. A noninvasive method allowing reliable in vivo, real-time assessment of tumor growth is desirable. Methods. An intraperitoneal tumor homograft using cultured CC531 colorectal cells was created by laparotomy in 24 Wistar Albino Glaxo rats. Eight additional mts were used as controls. Then, 10 MBq technetium 99m-labeled anticarcinoembryonic antigen (anti-CEA) monoclonal antibodies were administrated intravenously and radioactivity uptake was measured by using extracorporeal gamma counting at various time points. Subsequently, the animals were killed for tumor weighting. In 2 more groups of 8 animals, real-time, repeated measures were performed. Results. Correlation between gamma counting and tumor weight was highly significant (P < .001). The regression equation obtained by using the least squares method was: tumor weight (g) = 2.422 + 0.267 x counts. It was possible to obtain real-time tumor growth curves when repeated measurements of radioactivity were performed. At day 25 the predicted tumor weight was 8.49 0.76 g; the measured weight was 8.16 +/- 0.99 g. Conclusions. Immunoscintigraphic measurements with technetium 99m anti-CEA antibodies are highly correlated with tumor weight in this model. As opposed to other tumor graft models based on autopsy findings, real-time monitoring is possible. This will allow dynamic studies of intraperitoneal tumor implantation and growth and will reduce the number of animals used in further studies.