A Novel Preclinical Murine Model to Monitor Inflammatory Breast Cancer Tumor Growth and Lymphovascular Invasion.


Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), an understudied and lethal breast cancer, is often misdiagnosed due to its unique presentation of diffuse tumor cell clusters in the skin and dermal lymphatics. Here, we describe a window chamber technique in combination with a novel transgenic mouse model that has red fluorescent lymphatics (ProxTom RFP Nu/Nu) to simulate IBC clinicopathological hallmarks. Various breast cancer cells stably transfected to express green or red fluorescent reporters were transplanted into mice bearing dorsal skinfold window chambers. Intravital fluorescence microscopy and the in vivo imaging system (IVIS) were used to serially quantify local tumor growth, motility, length density of lymph and blood vessels, and degree of tumor cell lymphatic invasion over 0-140 h. This short-term, longitudinal imaging time frame in studying transient or dynamic events of diffuse and collectively migrating tumor cells in the local environment and quantitative analysis of the tumor area, motility, and vessel characteristics can be expanded to investigate other cancer cell types exhibiting lymphovascular invasion, a key step in metastatic dissemination. It was found that these models were able to effectively track tumor cluster migration and dissemination, which is a hallmark of IBC clinically, and was recapitulated in these mouse models.





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Publication Info

Rickard, Ashlyn G, Dorababu S Sannareddy, Alexandra Bennion, Pranalee Patel, Scott J Sauer, Douglas C Rouse, Samantha Bouchal, Harrison Liu, et al. (2023). A Novel Preclinical Murine Model to Monitor Inflammatory Breast Cancer Tumor Growth and Lymphovascular Invasion. Cancers, 15(8). p. 2261. 10.3390/cancers15082261 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29295.

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Gregory M. Palmer

Professor of Radiation Oncology

Greg Palmer obtained his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Marquette University in 2000, after which he obtained his Ph.D. in BME from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Biology Division at Duke University Medical Center. His primary research focus has been identifying and exploiting the changes in absorption, scattering, and fluorescence properties of tissue associated with cancer progression and therapeutic response. To this end he has implemented a model-based approach for extracting absorber and scatterer properties from diffuse reflectance and fluorescence measurements. More recently he has developed quantitative imaging methodologies for intravital microscopy to characterize tumor functional and molecular response to radiation and chemotherapy. His awards have included the Jack Fowler Award from the Radiation Research Society.

Laboratory Website:


Gayathri R. Devi

Professor in Surgery

Dr. Devi’s research interests include functional genomics, anti-cancer drug discovery and development, mechanisms of cancer cell signaling, tumor immunity and applications thereof for overcoming therapeutic resistance in cancer.

The lab has established prostate, inflammatory breast cancer and ovarian cellular and tumor models.

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