Archives in Cancer Research

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Live Microscopy of Primary Tumors and Lung Metastasis in Mouse Models of Breast Cancer

Renske J.E. van den Bijgaart, Charlene Lin, Niwen Kong, Carrie Maynard and Vicki Plaks

Live imaging opens up the possibility to visualize the dynamic molecular and cellular events underlining different stages of tumor evolution over long periods of time. The MMTVPyMT mouse model demonstrates a progressive disease that parallels the stages of human luminal B breast cancer subtype, exhibiting dissemination of cancer cells to the periphery. Intravital imaging on the MMTV-PyMT mouse model can provide insights on tumor processes. Since these are mammary tumors, minimally invasive skin flap surgery allows optical access to the breast tumor, followed by confocal imaging. When the skin flap is removed, a glass microscope slide is attached to the skin behind the mammary gland. An oximeter is used to monitor breathing and pulse.