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We report here the development of an orthotopic imageable model of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). NPC is highly prevalent in southern China and is often resistant to current treatment options. Two NPC cell lines, stably expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP), termed 6-10B-EGFP and 5-8F-EGFP, were established. The cells were injected into the nasopharygnx or subcutis of nude mice. Whole-body fluorescent imaging was used to monitor the growth of the primary tumor as well as angiogenesis and metastasis. Highly metastatic 5-8F cells resulted in brain invasion, cervical lymph node metastases and pulmonary metastases similar to what is often observed in patients. Cell line 6-10B was less metastatic which only resulted in pulmonary metastasis. Neither 5-8F nor 6-10B were metastatic when transplanted at the subcutaneous site. These results indicated that the host microenvironment was critical for metastasis to occur. GFP enabled imaging of micrometastasis. The imageable orthotopic model should play a critical role in elucidating the mechanisms involved in the growth, progression, metastasis, and angiogenesis of NPC and for evaluation of novel compounds with potential efficacy.

98th AACR Annual Meeting-- Apr 14-18, 2007; Los Angeles, CA