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Nat Rev Cancer. 2014 Jun;14(6):406-18. doi: 10.1038/nrc3742.

Imaging hallmarks of cancer in living mice.

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Cancer Genomics Netherlands-Hubrecht Institute-KNAW & University Medical Centre Utrecht, Uppsalalaan 8, 3584 CT, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


To comprehend the complexity of cancer, the biological characteristics acquired during the initiation and progression of tumours were classified as the 'hallmarks of cancer'. Intravital microscopy techniques have been developed to study individual cells that acquire these crucial traits, by visualizing tissues with cellular or subcellular resolution in living animals. In this Review, we highlight the latest intravital microscopy techniques that have been used in living animals (predominantly mice) to unravel fundamental and dynamic aspects of various hallmarks of cancer. In addition, we discuss the application of intravital microscopy techniques to cancer therapy, as well as limitations and future perspectives for these techniques.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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