TaqMan-based quantification of invasive cells in the chick embryo metastasis assay

Biotechniques. 2004 Dec;37(6):940-2, 944, 946. doi: 10.2144/04376ST02.


The chick embryonic metastasis (CEM) assay is a fast in vivo method to investigate the invasive properties of tumor cells. Until now, most quantification methods were semiquantitative and time-consuming. Here we describe a rapid quantification method using TaqMan technology to quantify the invaded tumor cells in the chorioallantoic membrane of fertilized eggs. This method is based on specific detection of human ALU sequences. Moreover, it provides high sensitivity over a wide linearity range.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Technical Report

MeSH terms

  • Alu Elements / genetics
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chick Embryo
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / secondary*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / genetics
  • Melanoma / pathology*
  • Melanoma / secondary*
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / genetics
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA, Neoplasm