The purpose of the present study was to develop and validate noninvasive bioluminescence imaging methods for differentially monitoring primary and abdominal metastatic tumor growth in mouse orthotopic models of pancreatic cancer.Methods
A semiautomated maximum entropy segmentation method was implemented for the primary tumor region of interest, and a rule-based method for manually drawing a region of interest for the abdominal metastatic region was developed for monitoring tumor growth in orthotopic models of pancreatic cancer. The 2 region-of-interest methods were validated by having 2 observers independently segment Panc-1 tumors, and the results were compared with the number of mesenteric lymph node nodules and histopathologic assessment of liver metastases. The findings were extended to orthotopic tumors of the more metastatic MIA PaCa-2 and AsPC-1 cells where separate groups of animals were implanted with different numbers of cells.Results
The results demonstrated that the segmentation methods were highly reliable, reproducible, and robust and allowed statistically significant discrimination in the growth rates of primary and abdominal metastatic tumors of different cell lines implanted with different numbers of cells.Conclusions
The present results demonstrate that primary tumors and abdominal metastatic foci in orthotopic pancreatic cancer models can be reliably quantified separately and noninvasively over time with bioluminescence imaging.