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Drug Development - In Vivo Models

RGI specializes in using athymic nude mice with human tumor xenograft implants or cell line implants for the in-vivo evaluation of anti-cancer agents. We have several different programs that can assist our collaborators with their drug development efforts. RGI has a many tumor lines that can be used for subcutaneous implants. Tumor development can be monitored regularly using caliper measurements, optical imaging, and established clinical signs. However, one of our most exciting programs employs the GI-101 human tumor xenograft. We have patented a human tumor breast cancer xenograft that spontaneously metastasizes from a subcutaneous implant almost 100% of the time. The GI-101 human tumor xenograft models can be used to monitor the effects of anti- cancer and anti-metastatic drugs.

Data so bright it glows!!!

RGI has recently transfected a number of cell lines with the genes coding for luciferase (LUC), green fluorescent protein (GFP) and red fluorescent protein (RFP). Using these special cell lines, we can track the growth and metastatic lesions in a athymic nude mouse over time. This exciting development allows RGI to very accurately monitor the effects of anti-cancer therapies on tumor development and metastasis. We can now watch tumors develop and/or regress deep in the body over time. This technology promises to revolutionize drug development efforts by enabling researchers to quickly and accurately determine if new compounds have an effect on metastatic disease. We are happy to collaborate with industrial and academic researchers to evaluate the efficacy of novel anti-cancer therapies.

The following images are taken from a poster that was presented at the Society for Molecular Imaging annual meeting in 2003. The human breast cancer cell line, MCF-7, was transfected with the luciferase (LUC) gene and implanted intraperitoneally in nude mice. The mice were then treated with the chemotherapeutic agents such as cisplatin, taxol or topotecan. As you can see, the anti-cancer drug inhibited the development of disease while the untreated animals developed large tumors. The ability to monitor tumor development over time gives scientists the opportunity to study many different facets of cancer biology including drug resistance mechanisms, drug efficacy on metastatic tumors, tumor development in various body sites and many others.

These images are of the human prostate cancer cell line DU-145 that was implanted subcutaneously in nude mice. The cisplatin treated group demonstrated very little tumor growth compared to the untreated controls. Tumor volume was also measured with calipers and the two methods correlated very well.

Images of the human prostrate cancer cell

DU-145 Luc Cisplatin Treated
DU-145 Luc Cisplatin Treated Mice


DU-145 Luc PBS Control
DU-145 Luc PBS Control

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