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Open Access A Simple, Quantitative Method Using Alginate Gel to Determine Rat Colonic Tumor Volume In Vivo

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Abstract:

Many studies of the response of colonic tumors to therapeutics use tumor multiplicity as the endpoint to determine the effectiveness of the agent. These studies can be greatly enhanced by accurate measurements of tumor volume. Here we present a quantitative method to easily and accurately determine colonic tumor volume. This approach uses a biocompatible alginate to create a negative mold of a tumor-bearing colon; this mold is then used to make positive casts of dental stone that replicate the shape of each original tumor. The weight of the dental stone cast correlates highly with the weight of the dissected tumors. After refinement of the technique, overall error in tumor volume was 16.9% ± 7.9% and includes error from both the alginate and dental stone procedures. Because this technique is limited to molding of tumors in the colon, we utilized the ApcPirc/+ rat, which has a propensity for devel- oping colonic tumors that reflect the location of the majority of human intestinal tumors. We have successfully used the described method to determine tumor volumes ranging from 4 to 196 mm3. Alginate molding combined with dental stone casting is a facile method for determining tumor volume in vivo without costly equipment or knowledge of analytic software. This broadly accessible method creates the opportunity to objectively study colonic tumors over time in living animals in conjunction with other experiments and without transferring animals from the facility where they are maintained.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, Department of Oncology, Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA 2: McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, Department of Oncology, Laboratory of Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA 3: Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA 4: McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, Department of Oncology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA 5: McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, Department of Oncology, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA 6: McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, Department of Oncology, Laboratory of Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA. dove@oncology.wisc.edu

Publication date: April 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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