Close monitoring of tumor growth in laboratory animals can help scientists track the effects of new therapies being studied. Yet, to perform any kind of histology studies, samples have to be taken and the animals often killed in order to perform biopsies. Not only is this inefficient, but detailed information about the dynamics of tumor growth is missed since samples are only taken at the “end-point.” This is particularly true of brain cancers that require opening the scalp to get to the white matter.
Scientists from Hospital for Sick Children at Toronto Medical Discovery Tower, Ontario Cancer Institute at Princess Margaret Hospital, and Toronto Western Hospital have developed a new technique to image tumor vessel formation as it is happening in laboratory mice. The technique relies on obtaining fluorescent bone marrow progenitor cells and then injecting them into irradiated mice. The cranium is then opened to expose the brain, the mouse receives the treatment being studied, and then a 2D confocal microscope used to visualize neovascularization.
Study and full video presentation of the experiment in JoVE: A Novel High-resolution In vivo Imaging Technique to Study the Dynamic Response of Intracranial Structures to Tumor Growth and Therapeutics