Evaluation of human fetal bone implants in SCID mice as a model of prostate cancer bone metastasis

Arun S. Singh, Gordon R. MacPherson, Douglas K. Price, Daniel Schimel, William Douglas Figg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The metastasis of prostate cancer cells to the bone marrow constitutes the major source of morbidity and mortality in prostate cancer. Studying this process has been hampered by the lack of preclinical models to evaluate novel therapeutics and to study the biology of the disease. One proposed model utilizes human fetal bone implants to serve as the target for prostate cancer cells injected via the tail vein. We employed this model to test the ability of zoledronic acid to prophylax and to treat bone metastases. To improve the rate of bone metastasis, we used two bone implants instead of one to evaluate the cell lines PC3 and PC3M, a more metastatic subline. For this purpose we generated the novel cell line PC3EGFPLuc, which can be used for luminescence and/or fluorescence imaging in vivo. We did not observe bone implant metastases in 52 mice, with 90 bone implants following tail vein injection of 1×106PC3 or PC3M cells. Soft tissue lesions in the buttocks and hind limbs as well as cellular growth in the hindlimbs were observed via bioluminescence imaging. This evidence together with literature findings suggests that this model produces artifactual 'bone metastasis' lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-524
Number of pages6
JournalOncology Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone
  • Cancer
  • Imaging
  • Luminescence
  • Metastasis
  • PC3
  • Prostate


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