Apc+/Min-FCCC Mouse: a Model for Colorectal Cancer

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Margie L Clapper, PhD and researchers in her group at Fox Chase Cancer Center have established a unique strain of multiple intestinal neoplasia mice (ApcApc+/Min-FCCC ) that are phenotypically different from conventional Apc+/Min mice. Apc+/Min mice bearing a mutation in the adenomatous polyposis coli (Apc) gene have been used extensively to evaluate the efficacy of chemopreventive agents against colorectal cancer. However, the relevance of this model to the study of human disease remains uncertain due to the predominance of small intestinal adenomas and few, if any, colorectal adenomas. Unlike conventional Apc+/Min, Apc+/Min-FCCC mice exhibit multiple colorectal adenomas (higher in males than females) and an extended life span. Thus, the Apc+/Min-FCCC strain is highly suited for the investigation of colorectal neoplastic disease and the conduct of therapeutic intervention studies.

Using this mouse model, Margie L Clapper, PhD and colleagues have developed image-based protocols for the detection and accurate estimation of adenoma size in vivo. MRI is used as a non-invasive method for acquiring high-resolution images of adenomas as well as a tool for the accurate measurement of adenoma volume. Colonoscopic protocols have been established for the detection of colorectal tumors. Furthermore, the sectional area of each identified lesion can be estimated from the acquired images using novel software (Patent pending). Changes in tumor growth are monitored routinely by performing serial colonoscopies. A near infrared bioactivatable probe specific for matrix metalloproteinases (MMPSense, VisEn Medical) has been shown to reliably detect both flat and polypoid lesions in Apc+/Min mice.


  • Research: Basic mechanisms of colon cancer initiation and development
  • Cancer Drug Discovery: Evaluation of colon cancer detection methods


  • Cooper, HS, et al., "Generation of a Unique Strain of Multiple Intestinal Neoplasia (Apc+/Min-FCCC) Mice With Significantly Increased Numbers of Colorectal Adenomas, " Mol Carcinog. (2005);44(1):31-41
  • Hensley, HH, et al., "Endoscopic Imaging and Size Estimation of Colorectal Adenomas in the Multiple Intestinal Neoplasia Mouse," Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (2009); 69(3 Pt 2):742-9
  • Clapper, M, et al., "Detection of Colorectal Adenomas using a Bioactivatable Probe Specific for Matrix Metalloproteinase Activity," Neoplasia (2011) -- accepted for publication