Table of Contents
International Journal of Molecular Imaging
Volume 2011, Article ID 321538, 12 pages
Research Article

A Comparison of Imaging Techniques to Monitor Tumor Growth and Cancer Progression in Living Animals

1Laboratory for Tumor Immunology, Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), BMSI, A*STAR, Immunos Level 4, 8a Biomedical Grove, Singapore 138648
2Singhealth Experimental Medicine Centre, Singapore General Hospital, Block 9 Level 3, Outram Road, Singapore 169608
3Singapore Bioimaging Consortium, Biomedical Sciences Institutes, 11 Biopolis Way, No. 02-02 Helios, Singapore 138667
4Office of Clinical Sciences, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School 2, Jalan Bukit Merah, Singapore 169547
5Department of General Surgery, Singapore General Hospital, Outram Road, Singapore 160608

Received 17 June 2011; Revised 29 July 2011; Accepted 4 August 2011

Academic Editor: Domenico Rubello

Copyright © 2011 Anne-Laure Puaux et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction and Purpose. Monitoring solid tumor growth and metastasis in small animals is important for cancer research. Noninvasive techniques make longitudinal studies possible, require fewer animals, and have greater statistical power. Such techniques include FDG positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and optical imaging, comprising bioluminescence imaging (BLI) and fluorescence imaging (FLI). This study compared the performance and usability of these methods in the context of mouse tumor studies. Methods. B16 tumor-bearing mice ( for each study) were used to compare practicality, performance for small tumor detection and tumor burden measurement. Using RETAAD mice, which develop spontaneous melanomas, we examined the performance of MRI ( mice) and FDG-PET ( mice) for tumor identification. Results. Overall, BLI and FLI were the most practical techniques tested. Both BLI and FDG-PET identified small nonpalpable tumors, whereas MRI and FLI only detected macroscopic, clinically evident tumors. FDG-PET and MRI performed well in the identification of tumors in terms of specificity, sensitivity, and positive predictive value. Conclusion. Each of the four methods has different strengths that must be understood before selecting them for use.