MicroCT for high-resolution imaging of ectopic pheochromocytoma tumors in the liver of nude mice

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Successful outcomes for patients with cancer often depend on the early detection of tumor and the prompt initiation of active therapy. Despite major advances in the treatment of many cancers, early-stage lesions often go undetected due to the suboptimal resolution of current anatomical and functional imaging modalities. This limitation also applies to preclinical animal tumor models that are crucial for the evaluation and development of new therapeutic approaches to cancer. We report a new mouse model of metastatic pheochromocytoma, generated using tail vein injection of the mouse pheochromocytoma cell (MPC) line that reproducibly generated multiple liver tumors in the animals. Furthermore, we show thatin vivomicroCT imaging enhanced using a hepatobiliary-specific contrast agent, glyceryl-2-oleyl-1,3-di-7-(3-amino-2,4,6-triiodophenyl)-heptanoate (DHOG), detected tumors as small as 0.35 mm as early as 4 weeks after the injection of the tumor cells. This model may be useful forin vivostudies of tumor biology and for development of new strategies to treat metastatic pheochromocytoma.

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