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J Immunol Methods. 2012 Aug 31;382(1-2):224-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2012.06.005. Epub 2012 Jun 12.

Area under the curve as a tool to measure kinetics of tumor growth in experimental animals.

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Department of Immunology, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT 06030-1601, USA.


Measurement of tumor diameters or tumor volumes has been traditionally used to quantitate and compare tumor growth curves in mice and rats. Here, we describe the use of area under the curve (AUC) as an alternative method to do the same. This single numerical value (a) is easy to obtain for individual curves, (b) reflects the entire tumor growth curve through a single number, (c) can be easily modified to obtain data for defined sections of the growth curve (for example, to determine stable disease), and (d) allows easier comparisons between groups. Using tumor growth data from a large number of mice challenged with live tumor cells, we demonstrate the utility of this tool over the conventional methods for these purposes.

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