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Oncology. 2011;80(1-2):92-6. doi: 10.1159/000328763. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

Time-course studies of implanted rabbit VX2 liver tumors to identify the appropriate time for starting hepatic arterial embolization in animal models.

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Department of Radiology, Shiga University of Medical Science, Otsu, Japan.



We followed the 4-week course of implanted VX2 tumors in rabbits and compared MRI and pathological findings to determine the appropriate time for starting therapy in animal liver tumor models.


We used 18 Japanese white rabbits. The VX2 liver tumor was harvested from one tumor-bearing rabbit and implanted in the liver of the other 17 rabbits. They were then sacrificed at 1 (n = 5), 2 (n = 3), 3 (n = 4), and 4 weeks (n = 5) after implantation and MRI study. Using MRI scans and/or pathological specimens of individual rabbits, we evaluated the tumor survival ratio, the major tumor axes, intrahepatic metastases, and peritoneal dissemination.


All tumor transplantations were successful. At 1 week, 56.25% of the implanted tumors were visualized on MRI scans. At 2 weeks or later, all transplanted rabbits were confirmed to be tumor-bearing on MRI scans. At 3 weeks after implantation, the tumor size was similar on MRI scans and in pathological specimens. There were no intra-hepatic metastases or peritoneal disseminations within 2 weeks of tumor transplantation.


We suggest that in studies of implanted VX2 models addressing the treatment of solid hepatic tumors, it may be prudent to start hepatic arterial embolization at 2 weeks after implantation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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