Bioluminescence-Based Tumor Quantification Method for Monitoring Tumor Progression and Treatment Effects in Mouse Lymphoma Models

J Vis Exp. 2016 Jul 7;(113):53609. doi: 10.3791/53609.


Although bioluminescence imaging (BLI) shows promise for monitoring tumor burden in animal models of cancer, these analyses remain mostly qualitative. Here we describe a method for bioluminescence imaging to obtain a semi-quantitative analysis of tumor burden and treatment response. This method is based on the calculation of a luminoscore, a value that allows comparisons of two animals from the same or different experiments. Current BLI instruments enable the calculation of this luminoscore, which relies mainly on the acquisition conditions (back and front acquisitions) and the drawing of the region of interest (manual markup around the mouse). Using two previously described mouse lymphoma models based on cell engraftment, we show that the luminoscore method can serve as a noninvasive way to verify successful tumor cell inoculation, monitor tumor burden, and evaluate the effects of in situ cancer treatment (CpG-DNA). Finally, we show that this method suits different experimental designs. We suggest that this method be used for early estimates of treatment response in preclinical small-animal studies.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Lymphoma*
  • Mice