Dynamic Tumor Growth Patterns in a Novel Murine Model of Colorectal Cancer

1Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin - Madison.
Cancer Prevention Research (Impact Factor: 4.44). 11/2013; 7(1). DOI: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-13-0163
Source: PubMed


Colorectal cancer (CRC) often arises from adenomatous colonic polyps. Polyps can grow and progress to cancer, but may also remain static in size, regress, or resolve. Predicting which progress and which remain benign is difficult. We developed a novel long-lived murine model of CRC with tumors that can be followed by colonoscopy. Our aim was to assess whether these tumors have similar growth patterns and histologic fates to human colorectal polyps to identify features to aid in risk-stratification of colonic tumors. Long-lived ApcMin/+ mice were treated with dextran sodium sulfate to promote colonic tumorigenesis. Tumor growth patterns were characterized by serial colonoscopy with biopsies obtained for immunohistochemistry and gene expression profiling. Tumors grew, remained static, regressed, or resolved over time with different relative frequencies. Newly developed tumors demonstrated higher rates of growth and resolution than more established tumors that tended to remain static in size. Colonic tumors were hyperplastic lesions (3%), adenomas (73%), intramucosal carcinomas (20%), or adenocarcinomas (3%). Interestingly, the level of β-catenin was higher in adenomas that became intratumoral carcinomas as compared to those that failed to progress. In addition, differentially expressed genes between adenomas and intramucosal carcinomas were identified. This novel murine model of intestinal tumorigenesis develops colonic tumors that can be monitored by serial colonoscopy, mirror growth patterns seen in human colorectal polyps, and progress to CRC. Further characterization of cellular and molecular features are needed to determine which features can be used to risk-stratify polyps for progression to CRC and potentially guide prevention strategies.

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Available from: Christopher D Zahm, Jan 15, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Prior to the advent of genetic engineering in the mouse, the rat was the model of choice for investigating the etiology of cancer. Now, recent advances in the manipulation of the rat genome, combined with a growing recognition of the physiological differences between mice and rats, have reignited interest in the rat as a model of human cancer. Two recently developed rat models, the polyposis in the rat colon (Pirc) and Kyoto Apc Delta (KAD) strains, each carry mutations in the intestinal-cancer-associated adenomatous polyposis coli (Apc) gene. In contrast to mouse models carrying Apc mutations, in which cancers develop mainly in the small intestine rather than in the colon and there is no gender bias, these rat models exhibit colonic predisposition and gender-specific susceptibility, as seen in human colon cancer. The rat also provides other experimental resources as a model organism that are not provided by the mouse: the structure of its chromosomes facilitates the analysis of genomic events, the size of its colon permits longitudinal analysis of tumor growth, and the size of biological samples from the animal facilitates multiplexed molecular analyses of the tumor and its host. Thus, the underlying biology and experimental resources of these rat models provide important avenues for investigation. We anticipate that advances in disease modeling in the rat will synergize with resources that are being developed in the mouse to provide a deeper understanding of human colon cancer.
    Disease Models and Mechanisms 10/2014; 7(11). DOI:10.1242/dmm.016980 · 4.97 Impact Factor