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Ann Thorac Surg. 1995 Sep;60(3):593-7; discussion 597-8.

Pleural-based mesothelioma in immune competent rats: a model to study adenoviral gene transfer.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, USA.



Despite multimodality approaches, pleural-based malignant mesothelioma remains a disease with a very poor prognosis. Novel therapeutic strategies such as gene therapy clearly are needed to improve the survival of patients with this neoplasm. To aid in the evaluation of new treatment strategies, animal models that closely mimic human disease are required. This article describes the establishment of a pleural-based model of malignant mesothelioma in immune-competent Fischer rats.


Via a modified left anterior lateral thorocotomy, a syngeneic malignant mesothelioma cell line, called II-45, was placed into the pleural cavity of Fischer rats.


Placement of II-45 cells into the pleural cavity of Fischer rats results in a model of pleural mesothelioma that closely resembles the disease seen in patients and is highly reproducible, with animals dying within 1 month. We also demonstrate the feasibility of adenoviral-mediated gene transfer to normal mesothelial cells lining the pleural cavity, as well as to malignant cells deep within the substance of pleural-based malignant mesothelioma.


The model described here offers the opportunity to study a variety of new treatment modalities, especially somatic gene transfer, against pleural-based malignant mesothelioma in an immune competent setting.

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