Imaging Mouse Models of Human Cancer
While long-recognized as vital components of cancer research, mouse models largely remained a “black box” until the development of advanced tools for preclinical imaging (Edinger et al. 2002; Van Dyke and Jacks 2002; Hirst and Balmain 2004; Lyons 2005). The dynamics of cancer progression, metastatic spread, and therapeutic response were difficult to study without noninvasive access to real-time information in living animals. Histology and other ex vivo analyses provided some insight into the molecular features of malignancy, but required biopsy and invasive acquisition, or were limited to terminal samples at necropsy. Moreover, such measurements offered only a static snapshot of disease and therapeutic outcome, and did not capture the active nature of malignancy or the dynamic changes associated with treatment. Overcoming these limitations required a set of tools that could probe tumor cells in their native habitat, and track molecular and biochemical changes accompanying tumor growth and regression in real time.
KeywordsPositron Emission Tomography Green Fluorescent Protein Radionuclide Imaging Mouse Tumor Model Small Animal Imaging
J.A.P. is supported by grants from the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the National Cancer Institute. The authors also thank M. Helms and M. Sellmyer for their helpful comments.