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Exp Dermatol. 2018 Jun;27(6):684-687. doi: 10.1111/exd.13529. Epub 2018 Mar 26.

A short-term in vivo model for Merkel Cell Carcinoma.

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Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.
Institute of Pathophysiology and Immunology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.
Department for Translational Skin Cancer Research & Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany.
German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Partner Site Essen/Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.


In vivo tumor models are essential for studying the biology of cancer, identifying tumor targets and evaluating antitumor drugs. Considering the request for the minimisation of animal experiments and following the "3R"-rule ("replacement," "refinement," "reduction"), it has become crucial to develop alternative experimental models in cancer biology. Several studies have already described the avian chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model as an alternative to rodents, suitable to investigate growth, progression and metastasis of various types of cancer. In the present work, we grafted three Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) cell lines onto the avian CAM and monitored tumor growth and development of solid tumor nodules. Morphology of xenograft was characterised histologically and immunohistochemically. Our results demonstrate CAM assay as a useful tool to study MCC pathophysiology.


Chorioallantoic membrane assay; MCPyV-LT antigen; Merkel cell carcinoma

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