Multimodal imaging analysis of tumor progression and bone resorption in a murine cancer model

J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2006 May-Jun;30(3):525-34. doi: 10.1097/00004728-200605000-00030.


Objective: This study evaluates the use of multimodal imaging to qualitatively and quantitatively measure tumor progression and bone resorption in a xenotransplanted tumor model of human neuroblastoma.

Methods: Human neuroblastoma cells expressing a luciferase reporter gene were injected into the femur of nu/nu mice. Tumor progression with and without zoledronic acid treatment was monitored using radiographs, D-luciferin-induced luminescence, micro-computer tomography (CT) and micro-magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Results: We observed a gradual increase in D-luciferin-based bioluminescence concomitant with detectable osteolytic lesions. Tumor growth was inhibited (P=0.003-0.07) with zoledronic acid treatment. Micro-CT analysis in vivo provided a method to quantify bone loss, and its prevention by zoledronic acid. High-resolution MRI images allowed the observation of tumor cells within the bone marrow cavity, as well as distant metastasis.

Conclusion: Multimodal imaging allows to measure tumor growth and bone resorption simultaneously in vivo and also proved useful in the detection distant metastasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Bone Resorption / diagnosis*
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Humans
  • Imidazoles / therapeutic use
  • Luciferases / genetics
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neuroblastoma / diagnosis*
  • Neuroblastoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Neuroblastoma / drug therapy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Zoledronic Acid


  • Diphosphonates
  • Imidazoles
  • Zoledronic Acid
  • Luciferases