Brain tumors are increasingly prevalent. Recent advances focus attention on individual, disseminated tumor cells that cannot be imaged or eliminated. Cells of the immune system may be ideally suited to attack individual tumor cells, but more basic understanding is needed. We describe a rat model, using the lacZ reporter gene, that allows identification of individual tumor cells, and tumor-leukocyte interactions in vivo. The model demonstrates how widely tumor can disseminate, without secondary tumorigenesis or recruitment of nonneoplastic cells. It demonstrates that leukocytes have access to disseminating tumor. Among its many applications, this work lays a foundation for developing cell-mediated immunotherapy against individual brain tumor cells.


This work was supported by grants to L. A. L. from the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Diseases and Stroke (NS25638, NS24878) and from the Alex Coffin Fund for Brain Tumor Research. A preliminary report appeared as Ref. 31.

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