Time-course studies of implanted rabbit VX2 liver tumors to identify the appropriate time for starting hepatic arterial embolization in animal models

Oncology. 2011;80(1-2):92-6. doi: 10.1159/000328763. Epub 2011 Jun 13.


Purpose: We followed the 4-week course of implanted VX2 tumors in rabbits and compared MRI and pathological findings to determine the appropriate time for starting therapy in animal liver tumor models.

Materials and methods: We used 18 Japanese white rabbits. The VX2 liver tumor was harvested from one tumor-bearing rabbit and implanted in the liver of the other 17 rabbits. They were then sacrificed at 1 (n = 5), 2 (n = 3), 3 (n = 4), and 4 weeks (n = 5) after implantation and MRI study. Using MRI scans and/or pathological specimens of individual rabbits, we evaluated the tumor survival ratio, the major tumor axes, intrahepatic metastases, and peritoneal dissemination.

Results: All tumor transplantations were successful. At 1 week, 56.25% of the implanted tumors were visualized on MRI scans. At 2 weeks or later, all transplanted rabbits were confirmed to be tumor-bearing on MRI scans. At 3 weeks after implantation, the tumor size was similar on MRI scans and in pathological specimens. There were no intra-hepatic metastases or peritoneal disseminations within 2 weeks of tumor transplantation.

Conclusion: We suggest that in studies of implanted VX2 models addressing the treatment of solid hepatic tumors, it may be prudent to start hepatic arterial embolization at 2 weeks after implantation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Hepatic Artery
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Models, Animal
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Rabbits
  • Time Factors