A Novel Tumor Cell Marker for use in Evaluating Cancer Therapeutics

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The accurate determination of tumor burden and evaluation of anticancer drug efficacy in tumor bearing animals is often problematic. This is especially true when the tumor is at an early stage or is internal and in accessible to direct measurement.


Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have developed a new method for measuring tumor burden in laboratory animals. The method allows investigators to measure tumor burden by testing blood samples, instead of by direct measurement. Tumor cell lines are transfected with a vector encoding a reporter gene under the control of a strong promoter. The tumor cells are then injected into the laboratory animal of interest. The marker is secreted into the blood stream in proportion to the tumor volume and is detectable within twenty-four hours.


It is expected that this system will be useful in the evaluation of the efficacy of potential chemotherapeutic and preventative agents. This system will be especially advantageous for investigation of angiogenesis and metastasis inhibitors, because of its ability to detect tumors that are too small to be observed by other methods. This method can be used with any cancer cell line that will grow in an immunodeficient animal or syngeneic host.


This method will allow more cost-effective and efficient evaluation of anticancer agents. Tumor burden can be measured starting just twenty-four hours after injection of the laboratory animals, long before such small tumors can be measured directly. Also, it allows for the more humane treatment of laboratory animals, because survival need no longer be used as an endpoint.


This technology is available for licensing.