Objective: To develop and characterize a new immunocompetent murine model that attempts to parallel the clinical and biological nature of head and neck cancer.
Design: The growth rate and histologic characteristics of the SCC VII/SF cell line were initially determined in tissue culture experiments. Animal experiments were subsequently performed on C3H/HeJ mice. Using direct injection, 5 x 10(5) SCC VII/SF cells were delivered to the floor of the mouth of each animal. Animals were killed after 1, 2, and 3 weeks, and tumor growth, invasion, and regional and distant metastases were evaluated.
Results: Squamous cell carcinomas that could be palpated and measured externally were identified in the floor of the mouth of C3H/HeJ mice after 5 to 7 days. Local invasion into the mylohyoid musculature and mandible was present. Cervical lymph node and pulmonary metastases were identified between 2 and 3 weeks.
Conclusions: This study introduces a new oral cancer animal model that shows initial locoregional tumor invasion, direct extension into the neck, early cervical metastases, and pulmonary metastases. These clinical and histopathologic attributes reflect the biological behavior and tumor progression seen in human oral cancer and therefore provide a model for clinically applicable research for primary and metastatic head and neck cancer.