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PloS one

An optimized small animal tumour model for experimentation with low energy protons.


PMID 28545054

Abstract

The long-term aim of developing laser based particle acceleration towards clinical application requires not only substantial technological progress, but also the radiobiological characterization of the resulting ultra-short and ultra-intensive particle beam pulses. After comprehensive cell studies a mouse ear tumour model was established allowing for the penetration of low energy protons (~20 MeV) currently available at laser driven accelerators. The model was successfully applied for a first tumour growth delay study with laser driven electrons, whereby the need of improvements crop out. To optimise the mouse ear tumour model with respect to a stable, high take rate and a lower number of secondary tumours, Matrigel was introduced for tumour cell injection. Different concentrations of two human tumour cell lines (FaDu, LN229) and Matrigel were evaluated for stable tumour growth and fulfilling the allocation criteria for irradiation experiments. The originally applied cell injection with PBS was performed for comparison and to assess the long-term stability of the model. Finally, the optimum suspension of cells and Matrigel was applied to determine applicable dose ranges for tumour growth delay studies by 200 kV X-ray irradiation. Both human tumour models showed a high take rate and exponential tumour growth starting at a volume of ~10 mm3. As disclosed by immunofluorescence analysis these small tumours already interact with the surrounding tissue and activate endothelial cells to form vessels. The formation of delimited, solid tumours at irradiation size was shown by standard H&E staining and a realistic dose range for inducing tumour growth delay without permanent tumour control was obtained for both tumour entities. The already established mouse ear tumour model was successfully upgraded now providing stable tumour growth with high take rate for two tumour entities (HNSCC, glioblastoma) that are of interest for future irradiation experiments at experimental accelerators.

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