A new animal model for the imaging of melanoma: correlation of FDG PET with clinical outcome, macroscopic aspect and histological classification in Melanoblastoma-bearing Libechov Minipigs

  • Raphaël Boisgard
  • Silvia Vincent-NaulleauEmail author
  • Jean-Jacques Leplat
  • Stephan Bouet
  • Catherine Le Chalony
  • Yves Tricaud
  • Vratislav Horak
  • Claudine Geffrotin
  • Gérard Frelat
  • Bertrand Tavitian
Original Article


The aim of this study was to evaluate the Melanoblastoma-bearing Libechov Minipigs (MeLiM) as an animal model of melanoma for in vivo imaging. Serial whole-body 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-d-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) scans were conducted on five MeLiM. In order to explore different clinical stages of the tumoural lesions, each animal was scanned two to four times, at intervals of 30–155 days. PET images were analysed by a semiquantitative method based on the tumour to muscle metabolic ratio. Histology was performed on biopsies taken between or after the scans and the histological grading of the tumours was compared with the FDG uptake. The overall sensitivity of FDG PET for the detection of cutaneous melanoma was 75%; 62.5% of involved lymph nodes were positive. Sensitivity was better for tumours with vertical growth than for flat lesions. FDG PET did not detect tumours with epidermal involvement only, nor did it detect small metastatic foci. The metabolic ratio was correlated with the evolution of the melanoma. FDG PET is effective in the staging of cutaneous melanoma and the follow-up of tumoural extension and regression in Melanoblastoma-bearing Libechov Minipigs. The results obtained in this animal model correlate well with those described in human melanoma. Accordingly, this model may be useful in testing new tracers specific for melanoma and in helping to detect molecules expressed early during tumoural regression.


Melanoma 2-Deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-d-glucose MeLiM swine model regression 



The authors wish to thank Philippe Bacon and Jean-François Dossin for animal care, Vincent Brulon and Franck Mathieu for PET performance and Dr. Régine Trebossen for advice and discussion. R.B. and B.T. are supported by European contract QLG1-CT-2000-00562. Works in LREG and IAPG are supported by ARC grant 9450, EDF contract 8703, Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (no. 524/01/0162) and Integrated Actions Program (French Foreign Office France/Czech Republic, Barande contract no. 04710WJ).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raphaël Boisgard
    • 1
  • Silvia Vincent-Naulleau
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jean-Jacques Leplat
    • 2
  • Stephan Bouet
    • 2
  • Catherine Le Chalony
    • 2
  • Yves Tricaud
    • 2
  • Vratislav Horak
    • 3
  • Claudine Geffrotin
    • 2
  • Gérard Frelat
    • 2
  • Bertrand Tavitian
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d'imagerie de l'expression des gènes, CEA, Service hospitalier Frédéric JoliotINSERM 0103OrsayFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Radiobiologie et d'Etude du Génome Joint CEA INRA Research UnitJouy-en-JosasFrance
  3. 3.Institute of Animal Physiology and GeneticsAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicLibechovCzech Republic

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