Growth of human paragangliomas in the subrenal capsule of the nude mouse

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Paragangliomas are generally benign, highly vascular, and slowly growing tumors of neural crest lineage that occur disproportionately in women. Surgery can manage small tumors expeditiously, but extirpation of large tumors is associated with morbidity and even mortality. Radiation therapy offers relatively good tumor control but also presents development of a secondary malignant neoplasm as a possible consequence. Cancer chemotherapeutic agents have been used only in rare metastasizing paragangliomas because they also are associated with considerable morbidity. A better understanding of the biology of human paragangliomas, to encompass the molecular biology of these tumors, is essential for the development of a less morbid, tumor-targeted therapy. This preliminary investigation is aimed at testing the hypothesis that the subrenal capsule of the nude mouse is a viable model for in vivo study of the molecular biology of human paragangliomas. None of the five tumors implanted survived for the duration of the study period. Accordingly, the nude mouse subrenal capsule does not appear to be useful in the study of human paragangliomas. (Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1998;118:309-11.)

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