Molecular Imaging of Neuroblastoma Progression in TH-MYCN Transgenic Mice
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TH-MYCN transgenic mice represent a valuable preclinical model of neuroblastoma. Current methods to study tumor progression in these mice are inaccurate or invasive, limiting the potential of this murine model. The aim of our study was to assess the potential of small animal positron emission tomography (SA-PET) to study neuroblastoma progression in TH-MYCN mice.
Serial SA-PET scans using the tracer 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-d-glucose (18F-FDG) have been performed in TH-MYCN mice. Image analysis of tumor progression has been compared with ex vivo evaluation of tumor volumes and histological features.
[18F]FDG-SA-PET allowed to detect early staged tumors in almost 100 % of TH-MYCN mice positive for disease. Image analysis of tumor evolution reflected the modifications of the tumor volume, histological features, and malignancy during disease progression. Image analysis of TH-MYCN mice undergoing chemotherapy treatment against neuroblastoma provided information on drug-induced alterations in tumor metabolic activity.
These data show for the first time that [18F]FDG-SA-PET is a useful tool to study neuroblastoma presence and progression in TH-MYCN transgenic mice.