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.